Qualcomm today announced the company, along with Samsung, has agreed to expand its global patent cross-license agreement. This is an existing agreement between the two companies (dating back to 2009) which covers the use of various mobile-related patent technologies. The specific details of the ‘amending’ of the agreement were not disclosed today although the announcement did make reference to how this updated agreement will result in Samsung “withdrawing its interventions in Qualcomm's appeal of the KFTC decision.”
The KFTC (Korea Fair Trade Commission) decision the announcement is referring to is one where Qualcomm was ruled to have breached South Korea fair trade regulations. A decision which ultimately resulted in the issuing of a fairly hefty fine - one in excess of $850 million. While the decision was initially made, Qualcomm did appeal the ruling although as of September 2017 that appeal was rejected. However, this only led to Qualcomm almost immediately registering a second appeal. Which is where the situation now currently resides.
In terms of where Samsung’s involvement comes in, along with Apple and others, Samsung was one of the companies who essentially provided testimony in the original investigation which eventually led to the ruling by the KTFC. Therefore, based on this latest announcement it would seem that Samsung will not be actively taking part in any of the new appeal proceedings. Something which is presumed to maybe be of benefit to Qualcomm in its latest attempt to have the original decision overturned. Although it remains unclear how beneficial it will be. In either case, this is the latest development to emerge from the house of Qualcomm, which has seen the chipmaker hitting the headlines in numerous capacities over the past few weeks and months due to the various investigations into the company taking place around the world, its ongoing battle(s) with Apple, its acquisition of NXP, and of course, the more recent and highly-publicized hostile takeover attempt by Broadcom. Today’s announcement was released in conjunction with another announcement which looked to highlight the forward-looking ways Qualcomm and Samsung will be working together, as well as the importance of the relationship between the two companies in general.