Qualcomm and Samsung expand partnership and patent agreement

As Qualcomm approaches an important (and potentially contentious) board vote, the chipset manufacturer has announced an expansion of its partnership with hardware giant Samsung.

Qualcomm and Samsung say the new multi-year strategic partnership agreement involves “various technology areas” and a “range of mobile devices.”

Qualcomm notes that the deal expands the companies’ already long-standing relationship as technology and business partners and extends it through the transition to 5G. The two partners provided little further detail.

In another statement to the press, however, Qualcomm announced it’s expanding its global patent cross-license agreement with Samsung covering mobile devices and infrastructure equipment.

As part of the agreement, Samsung will withdraw its interventions in Qualcomm’s appeal of the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) decision in the Seoul High Court.

The KFTC decision saw Qualcomm fined 1.03 trillion won (around $1.1 billion CAD) for what the commission called unfair business practices in patent licensing and modem chip sales that were deemed detrimental to competitors — including Samsung.

The agreement, forged with one of Qualcomm’s largest and most important partners, shows an ability to play nice when it comes to licensing aimed at pleasing shareholders, whose confidence may be shaken by Qualcomm and Apple’s ongoing legal feud.

Qualcomm needs to keep shareholder confidence high as Broadcom attempts a hostile takeover.

“We believe this amended agreement provides the foundation for a long-term, stable relationship with Samsung following the KFTC investigation,” said Alex Rogers, executive vice president and president of Qualcomm Technology Licensing in a press statement.

“With our portfolio of leading technology inventions, we are committed to driving growth for the global ecosystem and we look forward to an expanded business relationship with Samsung.”

Samsung is Qualcomm’s foundry partner for the Snapdragon 845 chipset, expected to grace the majority of premium Android devices in 2018.

Source: Qualcomm (1), (2)