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    HomeInsightsQualcomm top man defends IPR regime

    Qualcomm top man defends IPR regime

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    Says HSDPA implementations now biased to Qualcomm’s interpretations

    Dr Sanjay Jha, president of Qualcomm’s CDMA Technologies Group, has told Mobile Europe that, in fighting Nokia and others on IPR terms, Qualcomm is only upholding 200 years of patent law by holding out for what is rightfully due to it.

    “I can remember when we literally didn’t know if this company [Qualcomm] was going to survive another day,” he said. “I remember Irwin [Jacobs, founder and ex-ceo] going to the bank and paying us out of his own money. We took a huge risk and completely went out on our own. People said there was no way CDMA could work, and now look.

    “So I think we should take the appropriate value for that. Patents were supposed to help innovation,” he said, “and it’s almost as if they are becoming the anti-innovator. “You need to look for balance, and that balance is in the quality not the quantity of patents.”

    Jha said that Qualcomm feels its innovation has speeded development in 3G technologies, rather than its license terms acting as a barrier, as several OEMs have made out. UMTS, which works on Wideband CDMA is two years ahead of 2G GSM in terms of rollout and adoption, he said, citing the GSM community’s own figures. He also said one operator credits the influence of Qualcomm in making HSDPA market-ready a year earlier than expected.

    “HSDPA has been the only technology where the devices have been ready before the networks,” he claimed, “And I think we played a great part in that.”

    Qualcomm chipsets are currently in design with around 45 HSDPA devices, he said, out of an overall W-CDMA total of arouns 125 handsets.

    Qualcomm’s early involvement in developing HSDPA chipsets – it sampled its first chipset in December 2004,  meant that it was able to spend all of 2005 interoperability testing its system solution, Jha said. This has put the company ahead of the game because early interoperability testing means “we get the infrastructure implementation to be biased to our interpretation of the standard. When other companies interoperate with us they know they are interoperable with Nortel and Ericsson as well.”

    “It puts us as the default interpretation of the standard, and I don’t mean that in a bad way but that’s just the practicalities.”

    The advantage to the industry as a whole, Jha said, is that it can develop along fully interoperable and open lines.