During a conference call yesterday discussing his company’s quarterly results, Qualcomm’s CEO, Paul Jacobs, said that the company has been unable to resolve its messy patent dispute with Broadcom because a deal would hurt its licensing business. Jacobs told investors that Broadcom wants its customers to be exempt from paying Qualcomm licensing fees for a large chunk of its intellectual property portfolio as part of a settlement, which Jacobs claimed was unacceptable.
Considering that Qualcomm has lost its last two court cases against Broadcom, this might simply be conference call posturing. However, things get trickier when Verizon’s recent deal with Broadcom is taken into account. Verizon is set to pay Broadcom a licensing fee, Verizon’s CEO said he would seek a way to receive compensation for the payments, which many have taken as an expectation that Qualcomm would end up footing the bill. Sounds crazy, but Verizon is Qualcomm’s largest carrier customer, and while no deal is in place, Qualcomm brass has already made overtures about supporting their “very important customer”.
In no way is this messy story over yet. Keep hitting BBCool and we’ll continue to fill you in with all the juicy details.