Qualcomm Signs New Patent Agreement With Lenovo

Qualcomm Inc. said it reached a new patent-licensing deal with Lenovo Group Ltd., the last remaining holdout among China’s five largest smartphone makers.

The companies didn’t disclose financial terms of the deal. But they said Lenovo will pay unspecified royalties to Qualcomm for sales in China of handsets based on both 3G and 4G cellular technology, under terms that conform with those of an antitrust settlement reached in China last year.

Qualcomm said it had signed more than 80 new patent license agreements in China.

San Diego-based company, the biggest maker of processors and modem chips for smartphones, earns more than half its profits from licensing patents on cellular technology based on a percentage of the wholesale price of mobile phones.

The end of China’s antitrust investigation in February 2015 touched off a new round of licensing negotiations there. Qualcomm agreed to pay a $975 million fine and accept certain changes to its licensing terms affecting sales in the country.

The process of reaching licenses under those terms took longer than the company initially had expected, causing Qualcomm in November to lower a quarterly financial forecast. The company eventually announced deals with the Chinese companies Xiaomi Corp., Huawei Technologies Co., TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd and ZTE Corp.
Lenovo is in somewhat different category because of its global reach. The company, after entering the smartphone business on its own, in 2014 announced a $2.91 billion deal to buy the well-known Motorola Mobility handset business from Google Inc.

The Chinese company has long held a global patent license with Qualcomm. The new pact covers China sales of devices marketed both under the Lenovo and Motorola brands, the companies said.

Write to Don Clark at don.clark@wsj.com

Resource : http://www.wsj.com/articles/qualcomm-signs-new-patent-agreement-with-lenovo-1455833171

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