At the beginning of last year, Qualcomm bought the assets of Nuvia processor developer Nuvia for $1.4 billion, which used the Arm architecture and held the corresponding licenses. According to Arm itself, this deal does not give Qualcomm the right to dispose of all licenses inherited from Nuvia. A dispute broke out between the companies, which they are trying to resolve in court. Qualcomm believes that Arm is taking revenge on it for criticizing the deal with NVIDIA. Recall that in the spring of this year, NVIDIA was forced to abandon its intention to buy Arm, as this was opposed by individual regulators, British officials and a variety of companies among Arm’s customers. Among them was Qualcomm, and this summer it faced with a lawsuit from a British developer who accused her of misusing licenses for processor cores inherited from Nuvia. The latter had a license for the Arm v8 architecture, which Qualcomm also had, but Arm did not like this interaction logic, and it demanded that this client stop using Nuvia developments in their products. According to Arm, after the purchase of Nuvia, Qualcomm should have concluded a new licensing agreement with the first of the companies.
Qualcomm does not consider this correct and necessary, calling Arm’s claims revenge for its own position on the deal with NVIDIA, which fell apart in the spring. Arm not only demanded a surcharge for Qualcomm’s right to use Nuvia’s designs, but also tried to prevent Qualcomm’s specialists from working on processors that use Nuvia’s intellectual property. Representatives of Qualcomm also added that the original agreement between Arm and Nuvia did not provide for such control measures by the British holding. Arm also believes that after the loss of independence by Nuvia, all previous agreements have lost their force, and the new owners of the business in the person of Qualcomm must enter into new contracts.
In general, Qualcomm should pay Arm more for off-the-shelf solutions, and in the case of using their own developments based on the Arm architecture, the license fee is reduced. Apparently, in the Nuvia precedent, the British developer simply does not want Qualcomm to pay him less. The victory of Arm in this legal dispute, according to Qualcomm, can untie her hands in the abuse of her own powers in relations with licensees.