Arm sues Qualcomm and Nuvia for alleged breach of license agreement

ARM Cortex CPU image

Arm, which is owned by Softbank, has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm and its subsidiary Nuvia for breaching license agreements and trademark infringement. The company is looking to force Nuvia to "destroy" one of its designs - the Nuvia Phoenix core. It also wants to get an injunction against the trademark infringement as well as a "fair compensation".

In a statement put out by Arm Vice President Phil Hughes, Arm has revealed why it has filed the lawsuit. According to the statement, Qualcomm attempted to transfer Nuvia licenses without Arm's consent. This resulted in the termination of Nuvia's licenses in March 2022. However, Qualcomm had allegedly breached the terms of the Arm license agreement by continuing the development under the terminated licenses.

This is why Arm says it was left with no choice other than to file the lawsuit against Qualcomm and Nuvia. This is done to protect Arm's IP, business, and to ensure customers are able to access valid Arm-based products.

Qualcomm and Arm share a close commercial relationship as the former relies on the latter for external licenses for its chip designs.

In 2019, ex-Apple exec Gerard Williams started Nuvia, who had previously served as the chief architect of Apple's iPhone chips. The start-up had obtained an architectural license to use custom chip designs from Arm. However, in January 2021, Qualcomm, Arm's rival, acquired Nuvia for $1.4 billion.

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon had told Reuters that he wanted to use Nuvia's Arm-based designs to do the same thing for Windows laptops, that Apple did with after ditching Intel.

Source: Reuters

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