QUALCOMM, TI Come to Terms

QUALCOMM has chosen privacy over litigation in its licensing scuffle with
Texas Instruments.

The San Diego-based wireless giant has halted its $18
million suit against Dallas-based TI , according to
published reports. The two sides were negotiating a confidentiality portion
of a CDMA cross-licensing agreement that QUALCOMM uses when it works with
mobile phone handset manufacturers.

QUALCOMM filed suit against TI July 25, 2003, alleging a material breach
of the confidentiality of the agreement. TI filed suit September 23, 2003,
alleging that QUALCOMM violated the cross-license agreement by granting
royalty discounts to handset makers that use QUALCOMM’s semiconductor
products. The court indicated back in July that it intended to grant
QUALCOMM’s motion that it did not breach the agreement on this issue.

The court was expected to consider QUALCOMM’s claims for damages based on
a non-material breach at a trial this week. Sources quoted by Reuters
suggest QUALCOMM backed down because it feared a trial would uncover its
trade secrets.

Representatives from QUALCOMM and TI were not immediately available to
comment.

Ever since inking the deal, the two companies have had a healthy
competition. That changed in May when TI threw down
the gauntlet
saying it will “expand its presence” in the CDMA
market — a space QUALCOMM rules with an iron fist since it
created the technology.

TI is currently working on CDMA2000 products and said it is on track to
produce a single-chip cell phone, “with all of a cell phone’s key functions
integrated onto one chip” by the end of 2004.

A new claim from QUALCOMM, filed last month, again alleging that TI has
breached the licensing agreement is the only suit left between the two
companies.

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