Qualcomm’s patents and their usage fees have many up in arms and are at the center of a big legal mess.
Around the web, you’ll find plenty of things written about Qualcomm. Most of it is news about its latest products, or reviews of the same products but you’ll also see a new trend of … distaste for Qualcomm. Most of the time there is no back story given about why. So that’s what we’re going to talk about in a non-lawyerly way and with no full disclosure on the standards-essential patents fees or any royalty caps. If you’re reading and happen to know patent law, please feel free to correct the “internet wisdom” at play here in the comments so we all can benefit.
Qualcomm makes great stuff
Qualcomm has done some amazing things to move mobile forward. Its Snapdragon platform blends processing power, graphics rendering and network connectivity together in a way that’s better than anything else you can buy off the shelf, especially if you’re in North America. Qualcomm’s products don’t need to have the best CPU (they aren’t), the best GPU (same, not even) or the best wireless radios (they do, though) as long as the complete package is better than anyone else’s complete package. And Qualcomm’s packages are just better than the competitions.
Qualcomm’s networking technology is unmatched.
Qualcomm’s networking technology — including things like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as well as LTE — is a must for any mobile device in North America. Not only because it’s great, but because patented technology is needed to properly connect to this generation of robust LTE networks, as well as the next generation. Qualcomm invented a lot of this stuff. And like any other company, they patented it.
Since you need to use this technology to properly connect to the latest networks, the