Qualcomm’s (QCOM) Pipe Dream

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Qualcomm (QCOM) wants things to go back to the way they used to be with its largest customer, Nokia (NOK). That was when the world’s largest handset company was paying Qualcomm’s then full-rate to license the US company’s technology. Qualcomm’s hopes are based on its view of its patents.

"They do not question the validity of our patents, that’s never been the issue, but they (NOK) don’t want to pay the same amount," Andrew Gilbert, head of Qualcomm’s European unit told Reuters. Mr. Gilbert and his co-workers may be the only people who believe both in the validity of the patents and the fairness of the fees charged for them.

Qualcomm’s patents and license fees being challenged by several companies including Nokia and Broadcom (BRCM). The ITC and federal courts both have judgments against the company.  So, the statement about "validity" is a sign of just how bizarre the company’s view of its position is.

Will Nokia sign with Qualcomm on its old commercial terms?

Not a chance.

Douglas A. McIntyre