Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court on Friday temporarily handed technology firm Qualcomm a reprieve from a prior antitrust ruling, which said the company must grant licenses to rival cellphone chip makers.
The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals delayed the lower ruling, giving Qualcomm more time before it is required to comply.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled in May that Qualcomm violated antitrust law, saying it's not entitled to a percentage of the cost of every phone that carries its technology. Koh said Qualcomm should receive a smaller percentage, based on the technology used in phones.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the decision, allowing Qualcomm more time to appeal.
"We are satisfied that Qualcomm has shown, at minimum, the presence of serious questions on the merits of the district court's determination that Qualcomm has an antitrust duty to license its SEPs to rival chip suppliers," the appeals court said in its ruling.
"Whether the district court's order and injunction represent a trailblazing application of the antitrust laws, or instead of an improper excursion beyond the outer limits of [federal law], is a matter for another day."
Qualcomm signed a new patent licensing deal this week with LG on terms similar to the company's other agreements.