It's not a surprise that QUALCOMM announced it will charge royalties for China's homegrown standard TD-SCDMA. QUALCOMM said it believes it has essential IPR that applies to TD-SCDMA and that it has about 60 license agreements outside of China that include TD-SCDMA. TD-SCDMA is backed by the Chinese government to promote domestic business and bypass the royalties demanded by QUALCOMM and other vendors. We reported in February that the TD-SCDMA Forum hadn't even discussed IPR issues with QUALCOMM and Ericsson, another big CDMA patent holder, even though QUALCOMM is a senior member of the forum.
We'll probably see some sort of IPR skirmish on this one. QUALCOMM will likely not make any concessions on the issue since it charges the same royalties for all CDMA technologies--1xEV-DO, WCDMA and TD-SCDMA. Early on it was willing to work with the Chinese on IPR rates to get CDMA networks into the country.
To read more about QUALCOMM's plans to license TD-SCDMA:
- check out this article from RCR Wireless News