$912M Qualcomm fine upheld by Korean court

On Monday, September 4th, a South Korean court denied a request made by San Diego, CA-based semiconductor developer Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) to rescind a fine levied last December by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) over alleged unfair business activities in patent licensing and chip sales. According to reports, the South Korean court decision keeps in place a $912 million fine in the latest blow to Qualcomm’s corporate intellectual property strategy.

Last December, the KFTC originally fined Qualcomm a total of $853 million after a three-year study concluded and found that the chipmaker limited market access among competitors and employed unfair licensing agreements (which could stop shipments to licensees who didn’t comply with certain agreement terms). Qualcomm’s initial statement on the Korean regulatory fine indicated a great deal of disagreement and the chipmaker filed a motion for stay in Seoul Central District Court this February, citing potential commercial interests that might be seeking to influence South Korea’s regulatory action. (more…)