Qualcomm inks patent licensing deal with China's Oppo

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) announced a patent licensing deal with Oppo Electronics, a Chinese vendor that has suddenly become a major player in the worldwide smartphone market.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two companies touted a new 3G and 4G agreement for China that will grant Oppo a royalty-bearing patent license to develop, manufacture and sell technologies including three-mode (LTE-TDD, TD-SCDMA and GSM) complete terminals. The royalties Oppo will pay are consistent with the terms of the "rectification plan" Qualcomm submitted last year to China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

That plan was part of a settlement with the commission that saw the San Diego-based chip vendor pay $975 million and make specific changes to its business following an investigation of the company's business and licensing practices.

"As an R&D engine for the industry, we are excited to see companies such as Oppo build on our patented technologies to drive further development and innovation and create compelling products," Alex Rogers, Qualcomm's senior vice president and general manager for technology licensing, said in a prepared statement. "Oppo joins more than 100 other Chinese companies that have signed license agreements with Qualcomm that are consistent with terms of the rectification plan submitted by Qualcomm to the NDRC."

Oppo was founded in 2004 but only recently emerged as a major worldwide smartphone manufacturer. The company shipped 18.5 million smartphones in the first quarter, according to IDC, as it ascended to the No. 4-ranked global vendor. Oppo enjoyed a 153 percent year-over-year increase in smartphone shipments during the first quarter.

The deal marks a significant win for Qualcomm, which continues to try to tap the massive Chinese market following last year's settlement. Several weeks ago Qualcomm said it filed a complaint against Meizu claiming the small Chinese vendor used its patented technologies in 3G and 4G handsets without paying for them.

And Qualcomm continues to fight legal battles around the world. In April Nvidia sued Qualcomm in London, alleging it had unfairly forced Nvidia to pull the plug on the Icera business it bought in 2011. The company also is preparing to defend itself against antitrust charges in South Korea.

For more:
- read Qualcomm's press release

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