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Qualcomm waives damages to keep loyalty royalties secret

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Qualcomm this week waved goodbye of around $18m in damages from Texas Instruments rather than allow details of its CDMA licensing terms leak into the public domain. Qualcomm was allowed to pursue monetary damages after a recent court ruling went in its favor. But the two companies' armies of lawyers won't be stayed. Qualcomm is desperate to terminate the licensing agreement, which allows TI to make phone chipsets based on Qualcomm's IP; and TI is just as desperate to remain a player in this lucrative market.

"We'd rather give up the claims than have to disclose the details," a Qualcomm lawyer said yesterday. Qualcomm claims that TI breached a confidentially agreement and last month, a Delaware judge agreed. The court also threw out TI's counter-claim against Qualcomm. TI asserts that Qualcomm gives loyalty sweeteners to phone OEMs. However, as the Judge ruled that the breach was "non material", the patent licensing agreement remains.

The San Diego pugilist faces an anti-trust suit from integrated circuit provider Maxim for "maintaining dominance in the market for CDMA technology by improperly seeking to exclude competition". Qualcomm disputes the assertion. "Vigorously", of course. ®

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