Confidential documents allegedly seen by a local newspaper were "out of date ", and supporting statements by a government official were apparently the result of confusion, according to a Qualcomm spokeswoman.
In fact, it appears that the royalties received by Qualcomm in Korea could actually increase in August, because it will no longer need to pay 20 per cent of them to a government research institute.
Analysis by vnunet.com suggests that the extra revenue earned by Qualcomm in this case could exceed $90m per year, based on extrapolation from older data. Qualcomm has not confirmed this figure.
The Korea Times claimed yesterday that Korean mobile phone vendors' royalty obligations to Qualcomm will partially expire in August. The paper cited a confidential 15-year licensing agreement between Samsung and Qualcomm dating from 1993.
"The version of the Samsung-Qualcomm licence agreement that the Korea Times claims to have seen is outdated and has been amended and extended several times with each manufacturer," Christine Trimble, Qualcomm's senior director of corporate communications, told vnunet.com in an email.
"While Qualcomm cannot disclose confidential details of its licence agreements, the royalty obligations that Korean manufacturers have with Qualcomm will continue beyond such dates (for both domestic Korean sales and exports), and there is no date on which a licence under all of Qualcomm's patents becomes royalty free."
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