ARM sues Qualcomm, alleging its subsidiary breached a licensing agreement

has filed a lawsuit against subsidiary Nuvia for alleged trademark infringement and violation of some license agreements. It wants certain Nuvia CPU designs destroyed, as well as “fair compensation”.

Qualcomm to leverage the latter’s custom processor cores for its chips. According to (which was obtained from ) used Nuvia licensed ARM technology to build the cores. ARM alleges that Qualcomm has not received the necessary authorization to transfer and use the licenses granted to Nuvia.

ARM claims that Qualcomm’s acquisition of the company caused Nuvia to breach its licenses. As a result, ARM canceled those licenses earlier this year. It added that as a result, Qualcomm and Nuvia are required to cease using and destroying any ARM-based technology developed under the licenses. Additionally, ARM argues that Qualcomm plans to continue using its trademarks to market and sell products containing Nuvia cores without having permission to do so.

“Because Qualcomm attempted to transfer Nuvia licenses without ARM’s consent, which is a standard limitation under ARM’s license agreements, Nuvia’s licenses were terminated in March 2022,” ARM said in a statement. “Prior to and after this date, ARM made numerous good faith attempts to find a solution. In contrast, Qualcomm has violated the terms of the ARM license agreement by continuing development under the terminated licenses. ARM was left with no choice but to make this claim against Qualcomm and Nuvia to protect our intellectual property and business and ensure customers can access valid ARM-based products.”

This is a significant development as Qualcomm is one of its most important customers. Qualcomm built its name on ARM-based processors after all. And adding to the confusion, Qualcomm still has its own license with ARM, under which it can build custom cores with the latter’s architecture. It’s not clear what overlaps there might be between the licensing deals with Qualcomm and Nuvia.

“ARM’s lawsuit represents an unfortunate departure from its long-standing, successful relationship with Qualcomm. ARM has no contractual or other right to attempt to interfere with Qualcomm’s or Nuvia’s innovations,” Qualcomm said The registry in an opinion. “ARM’s complaint ignores the fact that Qualcomm has broad, well-established licensing rights to its custom CPUs, and we are confident that those rights will be upheld.”

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