Court ends Qualcomm's case against TI

A court on Wednesday ended Qualcomm's suit against Texas Instruments concerning a cross-licensing agreement.

The Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected Qualcomm's appeal of a ruling concerning a cross-licensing deal with Texas Instruments (TI), ending almost two years of litigation between the companies.

The communications chip vendors have had a cross-licensing deal since December 2000 under which each company can use some intellectual property from the other. Qualcomm sued TI in July 2003 in the Delaware Court of Chancery, claiming the Dallas company had violated the terms of the cross-licensing deal by revealing some information about it. In July last year, the Court of Chancery ruled TI's disclosure was not a material breach of the contract, meaning it couldn't be used to justify shutting down the arrangement. Qualcomm dropped its claim for damages but filed a new claim asking the judge to reconsider the ruling.

The Court of Chancery judge threw out that new claim in October, but Qualcomm appealed the ruling. Wednesday's decision in the higher court rejected that appeal by a 5-0 vote, TI said in a statement Thursday. The latest ruling dismisses all outstanding claims in the case, and both companies keep their licensing rights in the cross-licensing deal, TI said.

"We're disappointed that the Delaware Supreme Court upheld that ruling but the case is over now with that ruling, so the licensing agreement stands," said Qualcomm spokesman Jeremy James.

Qualcomm developed the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) mobile phone standard. TI would have lost out on a significant amount of business if it had been no longer able to manufacture chips for CDMA mobile phones.