what you should Know
- Arm sued Qualcomm for trademark infringement.
- Qualcomm was accused of using the licenses that Arm gave to Nuvia before it was acquired.
- Arm wants Qualcomm and Nuvia to destroy chip designs developed using the licenses in question.
Qualcomm had hoped to strengthen its position in the laptop and server markets, among others, with the acquisition of Nuvia, but that dream may be in jeopardy now that Arm is suing both companies.
Arm sued Qualcomm and Nuvia for unauthorized use of licenses granted to the latter prior to its acquisition. The British semiconductor company said Nuvia breached its licensing agreement with Arm and infringed ownership of its trademark.
Nuvia, a startup founded by a former Apple chief processor architect, was granted licenses in 2019 to modify the off-the-shelf Arm core and design custom cores based on the Arm architecture. Qualcomm’s acquisition of Nuvia effectively voids those licenses, Arm claims in its lawsuit.
However, when Qualcomm completed its $1.4 billion purchase of Nuvia last year, it revealed plans to use Nuvia’s processors in a wide range of devices, including smartphones, laptops, digital cockpits and advanced driver assistance systems, among others.
Qualcomm also appears to have transferred the licenses to Nuvia after the acquisition closed last year without Arm’s consent. According to the company, this is limited by its license agreements. As a result, Arm terminated Nuvia’s licenses in March 2022.
“Prior to and after that date, Arm made numerous good faith efforts to seek resolution,” Arm said in a press release (opens in new tab). “In contrast, Qualcomm violated the terms of Arm’s license agreement by continuing development under the terminated licenses.”
Arm earns from licensing fees and royalties for products that use its technology. The company now wants Qualcomm and Nuvia to destroy certain core designs developed after March. He is also seeking equitable relief for the trademark infringement.
“These technological advances required years of research and significant expense and should be recognized and respected,” said Arm.
Android Central could not immediately reach Qualcomm for comment, but the company’s legal counsel told The Verge (opens in new tab) that “Arm has no right, contractually or otherwise, to attempt to interfere with Qualcomm’s or NUVIA’s innovations.”