Automakers seek FTC appeal in Qualcomm patent licensing case

A team of tech companies and automakers, like Tesla, Ford, Honda and Daimler, on Monday urged the U.S. Federal Trade Fee to look for an enchantment following its loss in a situation towards chip provider Qualcomm.

Earlier this thirty day period a U.S. appeals courtroom reversed a lessen-court docket conclusion against Qualcomm, which would make engineering for connecting equipment to cell facts networks. The courtroom also vacated an injunction that would have necessary Qualcomm to improve its patent licensing practices.

Qualcomm was combating a Could 2019 choice by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, in a case brought by the FTC. Koh sided with the FTC, composing that Qualcomm’s follow of demanding cellphone makers to indication a patent license arrangement ahead of providing them chips “strangled competition” and harmed customers.

Automakers have increasingly put chips in vehicles to connect them to the net, which needs them to indicator patent agreements for communications standards these as 5G. The firms had previously argued that linked auto price ranges could go up if Qualcomm won its case.

Qualcomm received its attraction of that ruling prior to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an Aug. 11 ruling by a 3-choose panel. In a letter sent Monday, the automakers, as properly as Qualcomm rivals Intel and MediaTek, urged the FTC to request an “en banc” rehearing of the situation by the complete appeals court docket.

“If allowed to stand, the panel’s determination could destabilize the specifications ecosystem by encouraging the abuse of sector electric power acquired through collaborative common-location,” the team said.

An FTC spokeswoman declined to comment.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis Enhancing by Cynthia Osterman and Tom Brown)

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