Qualcomm takes its patent battle against Meizu to the U.S., Germany, and France

Williams Pelegrin
Qualcomm takes its patent battle against Meizu to the U.S., Germany, and France
Mobile processor maker Qualcomm will no longer keep its patent battle with Meizu in China, as the company filed actions in the U.S., France, and Germany over an alleged lack of licensing on Meizu's part.

Mobile processor maker Qualcomm might be tired of keeping its patent battle with smartphone manufacturer Meizu confined to China, since the former filed further actions against the latter in multiple countries around the world.

Qualcomm’s beef with Meizu began back in June, when Qualcomm filed a complaint with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. In the complaint, the chip maker accused Meizu of using its 3G and 4G LTE technologies without properly licensing them beforehand. As a result of the lack of correct licensing, Meizu “unfairly expanded its business.”

Related: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600E and 410E processors are bound for IoT products

Unfortunately, it seems as if the quarrel went up a few notches, with Qualcomm initiating a complaint, patent infringement action, and infringement-seizure action in the U.S., France, and Germany, respectively. According to Qualcomm, it launched the actions due to Meizu’s refusal to negotiate a license agreement.

Meizu and Qualcomm comment on the battle

“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, Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel.

Meizu told Digital Trends, “Meizu has worked with Qualcomm to advance towards an agreement. We respect Qualcomm’s right to use legal measures if they are unsatisfied with the progress, but still welcome them to proceed the negotiations with us at any time.”

Although Qualcomm may be best know for its Snapdragon processors, that’s not what this legal fight is about, and Meizu doesn’t use them inside its smartphones at all. Meizu clarified the situation for Digital Trends, saying the dispute is, “exclusively related to patents Qualcomm has with regard to 3G and 4G network connectivity.”

For now, Qualcomm seems set on moving forward with legal proceedings in multiple countries, likely hoping to put some pressure on Meizu. At the same time, filing actions in the U.S., France, and Germany increases the number of infringing devices, which means Qualcomm could be in for a larger payday if the actions result in successful court proceedings.

Meizu sold 20 million smartphones in 2015, and can call itself one of the top 12 smartphone makers in the world in terms of sales and shipments.

Article originally published on October 16. Updated on 10-20-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in a statement from Meizu, and clarification regarding the patent dispute’s focus