Qualcomm is trying hard, really hard, to rid themselves of the reputation they have as a patent whore. When they reached an agreement with Nokia at the start of this year, and then patched things up with Samsung earlier this month to the tune of $1.3 billion, people began to notice that the tides are turning. This is a new Qualcomm. Well today their image just got a little bit shinier after the EU decided to drop a 4 year old investigation that started after Nokia, Broadcom, Texas Instruments, Ericsson, and two other parties filed a complaint to the EU because of Qualcomm’s patent rates.
“All complainants have now withdrawn or indicated their intention to withdraw their complaints,” said the European Commission in a statement today. “In view of this, the commission doesn’t consider it appropriate to invest further resources in this case.”
The patents in question are mainly related to 3G standards. Getting these feuds over with help accelerate the deployment of 3G and 3.5G networks and help establish the relationships that will prove necessary once everyone sits down at the round table and start discussing 4G technology. In a recent report released by ABI Research, they say that Qualcomm owns roughly 1 in 4 patents relating to LTE technology. When those new high speed networks start going up at the end of next year, and en masse in 2011/2012, Qualcomm is going to see a lot of money.