The relationship between smartphone chip maker Qualcomm and Chinese smartphone maker Meizu has been going down the hill for sometime now. In June 2016, Qualcomm filed multiple actions against Meizu in China citing patent infringement and licensing terms. Now, the San Diego-based chipmaker has taken actions to address Meizu’s infringement of patents in the US, Germany and France. Qualcomm has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC).
The chipmaker has also filed a patent infringement case with the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany and another infringement-seizure action in France. The actions have been taken to procure evidence for a possible future infringement action there.
“Meizu’s refusal to negotiate a license agreement in good faith and its sales and distribution of infringing products around the world leave Qualcomm with no choice but to protect our patent rights through these additional legal proceedings,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel, Qualcomm Incorporated.
Qualcomm had first filed a complaint against Meizu after it failed to reach a licensing agreement. In a landmark 2015 anti-trust settlement with China’s economic policy panel, the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC), Qualcomm had agreed to pay a fine of $975 million in the form of settlement. In its complaint, Qualcomm had asked the Chinese court to affirm that the terms for a patent license agreement complies with China’s anti-monopoly law. Meizu is one of the top 10 handset suppliers in China, the biggest smartphone market. According to IDC, Meizu shipped 24.82 million devices in 2015.
Qualcomm has also been seeking to deepen its presence in the Chinese market by transferring technology and investing in next-generation chip manufacturing.