The Application of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law to Essential Patent Licensing: The NDRC/QUALCOMM Action

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James Rill, James Kress, Mar 31, 2015

With last month’s widely anticipated conclusion of the investigation by China’s National Development and Reform Commission of Qualcomm, Inc.’s licensing practices, the Chinese antitrust authority announced its intention to wade into the worldwide battles between holders of standard-essential patents and those companies that implement those standards in their devices, such as smartphones or tablets.

Although reports of the approximately $975 million settlement, equal to 8 percent of Qualcomm’s 2013 Chinese revenues, have garnered most of the attention, it is the range of behavioral remedies agreed to that may well have the greatest long-term significance for Qualcomm and other companies engaged in licensing standard-essential patents.