The European Union is considering new patent licensing guidelines in a move that may eventually change the way Qualcomm Inc. does business in Europe, according to a published report.

Reuters reported on Oct. 2 that the EU might call for charging a flat fee to license technology. While not legally binding, the guidelines could be the basis for future rules. EU officials might issue the guidelines by the end of the year.

Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) calculates royalties based on the final cost of the finished product. Apple has taken Qualcomm to court over that practice.

The news comes as Qualcomm tries to get EU approval for its proposed acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. The EU is investigating whether the marriage would create an anticompetitive situation.