Qualcomm files lawsuit against Meizu


Meizu are set to hit a major bump in the road and their second lawsuit in just a few years as Qualcomm begin legal proceedings.

Meizu, one of the original Chinese smartphone brands, has had a very rocky road to success. Way back in the day, when Meizu launched their first smartphone (Meizu M8) the company managed to find themselves in legal hot water with Apple who claimed the Chinese phone was a clone of the original iPhone.

That wouldn’t be the last legal issue for Meizu though as only a few years ago ZTE filed a patent lawsuit against Meizu for their use of a ‘Halo’ home button on the chin of their phones. ZTE won that battle and since then we have seen all Meizu phones launch with a physicla home button instead.

Since losing to ZTE, Meizu has seen amazing growth both at home and abroad, but a major bump in the road is about to hit them thanks to Qualcomm.

It has been confirmed today that Qualcomm are taking legal action against Meizu for their recent Mediatek powered phones, which the Snapdragon manufacturer believes infringes on their 3G and 4G communications patents.


In the past it was these say patents that had prevented Meizu from going for Qualcomm chips as they simply couldn’t afford to pay to use the rights for the technology, but now after a recent growth spurt and huge investment from Alibaba it looks like Qualcomm want to get paid.

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32 Comments

  1. June 24, 2016

    Qualcomm is being an Ass. How will using a Mediatek SoC intone on their 3G and 4G communications parents?

    Qualcomm is simply being pathetic in my opinion.

    • Jeep ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ
      June 24, 2016

      Wasn’t there a big commotion about Mediatek not opening their software which is against some GPL agreement? Some said they kept all their stuff closed to the public because they stole so much code from other company’s and that would be visible when they opened up.

      So, very possible Mediatek doesn’t have any own 3G/4G patents, they just use those of other company’s and don’t pay for it.

      • balcobomber25
        June 24, 2016

        That has little to do with this lawsuit. Mediatek won’t give away source code to the public for free, but they do give it away to anyone who buys their chips. This is about licensing fees for 3G and 4G networking technology, the same thing Mediatek has been in trouble with Ericson in India.

        • Jeep ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ
          June 24, 2016

          I see, thank you for explaining 🙂

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          June 24, 2016

          It’s not all rose’s nor do the any one else from mentioned companies above have all of it actually regulated not to mention a lot of them that haven’t done it at all.
          They are deliberately targeting a company that is not using their SoC’s. Even they have every right to do so it is again a uncompetitive practice & I just wonder did QC pay for the last year’s cort case they lose from Chinese government. They will win this one but will get their assess sued again.

          • balcobomber25
            June 24, 2016

            I don’t agree with Qualcomm or any patent trolls but it’s part of the industry.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              June 24, 2016

              I do agree with anything that holds progress back.

            • Eni
              June 25, 2016

              I am asking my self why any of the automobile house did not patented a 5 doors car, or the automatic gear, electric window etc.. It would be really fun

            • balcobomber25
              June 25, 2016

              There actually are/were patents for some of those. The auto world just isn’t as big of patent trolls.

          • greg
            June 24, 2016

            Sure QC don´t want any competition from a major brand which doesn´t use QC SoC´s , mediatek already stole them a big percentage of the market last year

  2. realjjj
    June 24, 2016

    lol Meizu has been using Qualcomm ( in version of their devices using CDMA2000) and the chips have nothing to do with the licensing.

    You pay for the chip and you also pay for licensing. The problem is that the way the licensing is computed and the amounts one has to pay are absolutely insane.

    According to the terms agreed upon with the Chines regulator, the licensing would be payed on 65% of the value of the device. 3.5% of that for LTE and 5% for multimode 3G/4G.
    So for a phone that sells for 700$ you pay 50-60$ for the SoC and then the licensing is another 22.75$ because somehow Qualcomm is allowed to take a tax on the entire device for a technology that is barely used- thanks to our deeply corrupted politicians. A stupid wifi chip is 2-4.5$ and is used far ore than 4G.Qualcomm is just allowed to rip off the consumer- we are the ones paying for it in the end.
    For a 100$ phone the licensing tax would be 3.25$, still ridiculously high and it is absurd how the huge gap between 22.75 and 3.25$ makes sense to anyone.
    Qualcomm does deserve 5-10 cents per device but anything above that is just criminal.
    Slim chances that Meizu will win since the China gov has no balls at all and they are not more honest than other politicians but at least they refuse to just bend over and pay this absurd tax.

    Hopefully things will change with 5G and no one company will hold too many standard essential patents and be allowed to do this again.
    There is a lot of amazing tech in phones and no other technology is treated like 3G/4G.Imagine what would happen if every technology in a phone would have a ridiculous licensing fee.

    • MaxPower
      June 24, 2016

      A technology that is barely used?
      That’s the main technology that makes the phone what it is: a Mobile device!

      You also pay fees for using GSM and 3G, GPS technology to the respective patent owners.

      If Meizu didn’t pay then they would have no chance to win anywhere, not just China or USA.

      • realjjj
        June 24, 2016

        Yes a technology that is barely used , compared to many others in a smartphone.

        Even in developed nations, wifi gets 80% of the traffic.
        The average monthly mobile data volumes in China are just over 300MB and even in the US the usage is very limited as prices are at about 9$ per GB.

        • MaxPower
          June 24, 2016

          Even if I’m pretty sure that 80% comes from nowhere, still it doesn’t mean anything.
          Try to sell a phone with wifi only connectivity and then tell me how many handsets you’ll be able to sell.

          The price of data of two random countries doesn’t explain anything either.
          I’m in vacation in Italy right now and I purchased 10 GB of LTE traffic for 9€ from the company Wind which is about $1/GB.

          “As the mast majority of their profits come from licensing, Qualcomm is practically just a patent troll”

          That statement qualifies you perfectly.

          If you want to use 3G you either use Qualcomm technologies or Ericsson technologies, or Hitachi, Motorola and many more. They will all ask for patent fees. That’s how it works.
          You make money with their technologies then you have to pay the fees.

          You make a phone more attractive putting a Sd card slot, then you have to pay royalties to Microsoft.

          • balcobomber25
            June 24, 2016

            Exactly most people never take any of this into account. A lot of the times this is the reason that a phone might not have an SD card or might choose a MTK over Qualcomm SoC (another reason is the OEM/Supplier they use).

            I question that 80% figure though, I am willing to bet that is including other internet connected devices such as laptops, tablets, computers and gaming machines which are all predominantly WiFi connections. I would love to see hard facts on this pertaining to smartphones.

            I completely disagree with him about that being a “minor” feature. Just look at how many of us here won’t buy a certain phone because it doesn’t support our countries LTE.

            • MaxPower
              June 24, 2016

              Exactly!
              And here we are not even talking of LTE where Qualcomm is not even strong with it.
              We are talking of 3G connectivity, wcdma.
              Imagine a phone without 3G!!!

            • balcobomber25
              June 24, 2016

              It would be a disaster in many countries. I travel the world for work (mostly in Asia and Africa), I haven’t taken number but off the top of my head I would say more than half of the countries I am in either don’t have a good LTE network or it is too expensive for most people to use. 3G is still prevalent in many countries around the world.

        • Rob
          June 24, 2016

          Actually in the last quarter 86% of Qualcomm’s profits came from licensing. I’m actually on you with this one that the amount they charge is daylight robbery, I thought only the government were allowed to screw us to this degree!

          • MaxPower
            June 24, 2016

            I’m against patents as well, but nobody pointed a gun on Meizu.

            If you like it, you use it and pay for it, if you don’t or if you think it’s too expensive then move away.

            Here they thought it was too expensive but still they are using it without permission and make money with something that doesn’t belong to them.

            Try to picture a phone with EDGE and LTE with nothing in the middle.
            How many phones would they sell realistically?
            Definitely not the 80% of what they do now because we use Wi-Fi for the 80% of the volume like he stated.

        • balcobomber25
          June 24, 2016

          I would love to see actual numbers of this “80% traffic figure” and see those numbers broken down for just the smartphone industry. I am not gonna say you are wrong but that number sounds incredibly suspect. So if you have something to actually back that up please post it.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      June 24, 2016

      Don’t worry Chinese government will low suit QC again for uncompetitive practice as they did lats year & take that money back again (as always you can rip off the country but at the end country takes it all). It’s funny how things work in China.
      This time around QC is actually shooting in it’s own healthy foot (again) as they gained a lot of adoption from Chinese brands this year & after this they are naturally going to lose it.

      • balcobomber25
        June 24, 2016

        I doubt this is going to have any affect on Qualcomm as the following firms have already signed deals with Qualcomm either this year or last: ZTE, Huawei, Xiaomi, TCL, Coolpad, Quiku and Gionee.

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          June 24, 2016

          Another bilion they will have to pay to Chinese government certainly will.

          Funny thing actually in China their always whose a lot of corruption including traditional Empire of China but they always managed to get it all back to the contrary possession at the end (one way or other).

          • balcobomber25
            June 25, 2016

            There’s a lot of corruption in every country with big business, it’s not inclusive to China.

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          June 24, 2016

          It shore looks like we have interesting development of situation on the other end.
          http://www.smics.com/eng/press/press_releases_details.php?id=365551
          QC certainly are a hypocrites but I am not sure about future development of situation after reading this…

  3. MaxPower
    June 24, 2016

    People don’t understand that the whole phone has proprietary patented technologies that requires to pay fees.
    Even the addition of a SD card slot or a dual sim tray requires to pay royalties to the owner of the patent.

    I’m not supporting any of these bullshit, but this is the world we live in and unless things change you have to follow the rules no matter if you are Apple, Samsung, Meizu or Xiaomi.

  4. xi7
    June 24, 2016

    meizu = lost in China

  5. njren
    June 24, 2016

    And here I thought Meizu was using the bare minimum frequencies to avoid such entanglements…guess not.

  6. Muhammad Yasir
    June 24, 2016

    qualcomm are asses !

  7. NextHype
    June 24, 2016

    I thought chinese brands never pay for patents… another false idea on the middle kingdom.

    • Karly Johnston
      June 24, 2016

      Usually no, but QC came to an agreement last year with the CCP that they get reduced royalty payments if they uphold their ip rights.

  8. AbdulB1
    June 28, 2016

    I think they will use an SD chip-set in one of their phones…