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Qualcomm lawyers defy Nokia's rabbit cull

TI sued for 'confidentiality breach'

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Everyone agrees, competition is great - except when they're competing against you, of course. Qualcomm on Friday filed a suit against Texas Instruments, which in May said it would challenge Qualcomm's lucrative near-monopoly on CDMA chipsets. (See TI, Nokia gang up on Qualcomm).

Qualcomm alleges that statements to financial analysts prior to the announcement breached a confidentiality agreement between the two parties.

Nokia is keen to enter the US market, and regain a foothold in Korea, from which it retreated earlier this year; and the company already had a substantial engineering effort devoted to CDMA before May's announcement. The tie-up between TI, Nokia, ARM and fab ST Micro, which today teamed up to form The MIPI Alliance, allows carriers such as Verizon and Sprint to offer advanced OMAP-based smartphones, such as the SonyEricsson P800, and wireless PDA such as Palm's latest Tungsten models, to their subscribers. (Earlier this year SonyEricsson announced, then withdrew plans to launch a Bluetooth-enabled CDMA phone for the US market; it does compete at the low-end however).

Qualcomm earns two thirds of its revenue from licensing chipsets, and like any business, it's going to be wary of too much downward pressure on those margins.

TI said it will vigorously contest the filing. Nokia's executive VP for business Erik Anderson made these memorable remarks about the litigious culture, here. ®

Related link

MIPI Alliance press release

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