Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) said it filed a complaint against Meizu claiming the small Chinese smartphone vendor used the San Diego-based chipmaker's patented technologies in its 3G and 4G handsets without paying for them.
In the complaint, which was filed in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, Qualcomm claims it "has negotiated extensively and in good faith with Meizu" to ink a licensing deal consistent with the terms of a "rectification plan" Qualcomm submitted last year. That plan was part of a settlement with China's National development and Reform Commission that saw Qualcomm pay $975 million and make specific changes to its business following an investigation of the company's business and licensing practices.
Qualcomm said more than 100 other vendors have accepted the terms of the rectification plan, but Meizu "has been unwilling" to negotiate a licensing deal.
"Qualcomm's technologies are at the heart of all mobile devices," said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's executive vice president and general counsel, in a press release. "Meizu is choosing to use these technologies without a license, which is not only unlawful, but is unfair to other licensees that are acting in good faith and respectful of patent rights, and ultimately damaging to the mobile ecosystem and consumers."
Meizu, which has no substantial presence in the U.S., started as a manufacturer of digital music players before moving into smartphones in 2008. It is one of the 10 largest smartphone vendors in China, however, and reportedly sold 9 million units in the first half of 2015.
Qualcomm continues to fight legal battles around the world. In April Nvidia sued Qualcomm in London, alleging it had unfairly forced Nvidia to pull the plug on the Icera business it bought in 2011. And Qualcomm is preparing to defend itself against antitrust charges in South Korea.
- see this Qualcomm press release
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