Patents and contracts are two of the most important tools for a company to have. Patents protect a company’s product from being copied by others while contracts help protect a company from possible exploitation. It would seem that Qualcomm has played this card with its manufacturing partner, Samsung, with respect its own products.
It is not unknown to many that Samsung and Qualcomm are currently working together. Qualcomm designed the Snapdragon 835 chip while Samsung manufactures it and uses it on its products. However, the partnership might have some nasty implications on the company itself.
According to The Korea Economic Daily, Qualcomm has managed to stop Samsung from marketing its own Exynos chip to other phone makers. According to the said report, Qualcomm used its “standard essential patent” card to prevent other companies from using Samsung’s ARM chip.
To make matters worse, the company has its hand tied behind its back since the contract it signed with Qualcomm is in effect for 25 years. This means that Samsung will not be able to market the Exynos SoC for a very long time. And if it does, there is no assurance that it will still be relevant at that time.
South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has already investigated this issue. The agency released a statement confirming that Qualcomm stopped Samsung from selling its chips to other companies. The FTC has deemed this practice “unfair”, however, to this point, there are no indications if this will lead to repercussions.
Qualcomm has been hit by a number of lawsuits in the last few years. Last year, the company received a lawsuit from Apple about how Qualcomm has forced Apple to use its products. Also last year, Qualcomm paid a massive fine over antitrust violations in South Korea.
At the moment, Samsung has yet to release a statement about the report. Furthermore, it seems like it still is a waiting game since after the FTC report, the agency has not made any action against Qualcomm. For more tech updates, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.