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Qualcomm loses general counsel

But not because of its recent legal defeats

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Qualcomm's general counsel, Lou Lupin, has left the company after it suffered three spectacular legal defeats in a row, though his departure is for apparently unconnected personal reasons.

Qualcomm has been having a bit of a bad time lately - the ban on imports of patent-infringing chips remains in place despite appeals for a presidential veto, it has been accused of foul play in court, and is engaged in ongoing litigation with Nokia, Broadcom and others - so losing its general counsel could be seen as the least of its problems.

In fact, the change might offer Qualcomm the opportunity to soften its approach to patent issues. Lupin's replacement, Carol Lam, could well take a more negotiated line, and the three per cent increase in Qualcomm shares reflects a market which expects that to be the case.

Officially there'll be no change in the legal strategy, but surely a rethink is in order? ®

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