The Qualcomm Case – a Regulatory/Judicial Attack on Patent Rights

USIJ was formed to advocate for the interests of individual inventors and research-intensive startups and to fight against actions by Congress, the Courts and regulatory agencies to take actions that disadvantage this “invention community.”

 For 240 years, the U.S. patent system has been one of crown jewels in our country’s industrial policy, using market mechanisms to create incentives for visionary people to pursue new horizons and risk tolerant investors to fund these endeavors.    Patents level the playing field and allow innovative companies to benefit from their creativity and perseverance against much larger incumbents that are quick to copy new ideas, once proven.

Unfortunately, those patent rights have been under attack in multiple jurisdictions.  One of the most egregious has been the FTC case against Qualcomm, filed in early 2017.   The 2019 ruling by a federal Judge in Silicon Valley dictates what Qualcomm can charge for licensing its patents – rather than allowing market driven decision. 

 USIJ filed an Amicus brief in support of Qualcomm’s appeal of the decision, because of the devastating impact this ruling could have on all patent holders – small and large.  Forcing an innovative American company to modify its licensing program and forego fully merited compensation – after the fact – so that a handful of powerful companies who license their patents can become even more profitable sends the wrong message to the entire invention community - and puts American innovation at risk.