Arm sued Qualcomm today and demanded that it destroy any chipsets it has designed using Nuvia’s Arm licenses. Qualcomm, you may know, acquired Nuvia in early 2021 to use its Arm-based designs to create more sophisticated PC chipsets and it had intended to announce the first such chipsets in late 2022.
“Arm is filing this claim to protect Arm, our partners, and the unparalleled ecosystem we have built together,” an Arm statement explains. “Arm and its partners have invested billions of dollars to create industry-leading intellectual property. Because Qualcomm attempted to transfer Nuvia licenses without Arm’s consent, which is a standard restriction under Arm’s license agreements, Nuvia’s licenses terminated in March 2022. Before and after that date, Arm made multiple good faith efforts to seek a resolution. In contrast, Qualcomm has breached the terms of the Arm license agreement by continuing development under the terminated licenses. Arm was left with no choice other than to bring this claim against Qualcomm and Nuvia to protect our IP, our business, and to ensure customers are able to access valid Arm-based products.”
Reading between the lines here, it’s clear that what Arm wants is more licensing fees from Qualcomm, fees that will make up for the revenues it’s losing because Nuvia no longer exists and is thus no longer a licensee. Furthermore, it appears that Arm has tried to convince Qualcomm of this requirement privately but has been rebuffed. And so it is launching this lawsuit, I assume, to convince Qualcomm to settle and pay higher licensing fees.
“Arm takes pride in our role as innovator of the world’s most critical semiconductor IP and the billions of devices that run on Arm,” the Arm statement continues. “These technological achievements have required years of research and significant costs and should be recognized and respected. As an intellectual property company, it is incumbent upon us to protect our rights and the rights of our ecosystem. We will work vigorously to protect what is rightfully ours and we are confident that the courts will agree with us.”