Qualcomm changes structure

Chipmaker Qualcomm wants to protect its patent licensing business by restructuring its operations.

According to Reuters the company wants to create a new subsidiary that will work on open source wireless developments.

Qualcomm makes shedloads of cash by selling licenses, but the wireless industry is becoming a minefield with litigation related to technology patents and Qualcomm thinks it needs a specialist unit.

Under the new structure, Qualcomm will include its technology licensing division and corporate functions as well as most of its patent portfolio.

The new subsidiary will be called Qualcomm Technologies and it will include its research and development arm and its wireless chip business.

Qualcomm claims the move will protect its patent licensing business because its new subsidiary QTI plans to increase its work with open source software which has to be shared.

The parent company will keep most of Qualcomm’s patents, QTI will hold some patents that are specifically developed to provide open source software contributions.

Under the new structure, QTI will have no rights to grant licenses held by the parent company, Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm said this was not aimed at spinning out either its chip business or its licensing business. It said it will be sorted out early next year.