Qualcomm Inc. may be required to license its technology to competitors in the future, if the Federal Trade Commission prevails in its case against the company.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled in favor of the FTC on Nov. 6, granting the commission a motion for partial summary judgment in its antitrust complaint against the San Diego-based technology company.
The FTC sued Qualcomm in January 2017, alleging that Qualcomm's refusals to license its patents to competitors, such as Intel Corp., were “anti-competitive tactics used to maintain its monopoly” on semiconductors. Last month, the FTC and Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) sought to delay the ruling for settlement talks, but Koh denied the motion.
In her ruling, Koh wrote that Qualcomm's commitments to industry groups, and the company's own practices, contradict its ability to deny standard-essential patents to competitors.
Per Koh’s ruling, Qualcomm must license some of its patents used to develop semiconductor chips for smartphones and other devices. The case will go to trial in 2019, in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
Qualcomm’s stock was valued at $63.35 at market open on Nov. 6.