When the Ninth Circuit Court Unanimously Says You’ve Gone Too Far Left…
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a 2019 ruling by a federal judge who found that Qualcomm had abused its monopoly position in wireless chips and overcharged mobile phone makers for its patents.
In this Age of Idiocy, let us revel in a moment of sanity.
Unanimously delivered to us by – are you sitting down? – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the world of judges and Justices – this is exceedingly embarrassing:
“A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a 2019 ruling by a federal judge who found that Qualcomm had abused its monopoly position in wireless chips and overcharged mobile phone makers for its patents….
Not mentioned by the eternally pathetic New York Times? Said ruling was bipartisan and unanimous.
Said ruling also ain’t great for the Barack Obama Administration’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
“The Federal Trade Commission had sued Qualcomm in 2017 over the issue.”
Not mentioned by the eternally pathetic New York Times? Said lawsuit was filed on January 17 – by Obama, Inc…a mere three days before being sworn out of office.
(Due to a 2-2 Commissioner tie at the Donald Trump FTC – this stupid lawsuit has shambled on throughout Trump’s first term. Because Trump’s FTC can’t vote to end it. How excruciatingly pathetic our monstrous bureaucracies be.)
“The District Court judge, Lucy Koh, sided with the F.T.C. in May 2019, issuing a 233-page decision that could have forced Qualcomm to renegotiate its licensing contracts with phone makers and license its technology to rival chip makers.”
Koh’s decision was exceedingly ridiculous. As we repeatedly documented at the time of its making.
The Obama FTC’s lawsuit was exceedingly ridiculous – so of course Koh’s affirmation of it had to be exceedingly ridiculous
“The Constitution and existing law are on Qualcomm’s side. So too is at least one precedent Supreme Court ruling. So too is decades of industry precedent.
“Judge Koh threw ALL of that out the window. And instead – all by her onesies – unilaterally rewrote the entire licensing system for the entirety of the United States patent market.
“That isn’t judicial overreach at all.
“Judge Koh pretended a patent is a ‘monopoly’ – and thus an antitrust violation.
“Ummm…a patent is a grant to ‘exclusive Right to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries…’ – per the Constitution.
“‘Exclusive right’ – means no one but you has that right. You – all by yourself – is a ‘monopoly.’ Per the Constitution.
“Suing Qualcomm’s patents for being a ‘monopoly’ – is like suing Shaquille O’Neal for being tall. You’re suing something – for being exactly what it is supposed to be.
“The Constitution preempts any antitrust law that follows – if antitrust law contradicts the Constitution. Or at least it’s supposed to do so.
“Judge Koh – didn’t care. And instead imposed her personal Leftist policy preference.”
The unanimous Ninth Circuit – just unanimously agreed with us. And completely blew up the Obama FTC’s case – and Judge Koh’s ruling. And they didn’t need 233 pages to do it:
“First, Qualcomm’s practice of licensing its SEPs exclusively at the OEM level does not amount to anticompetitive conduct in violation of § 2, as Qualcomm is under no antitrust duty to license rival chip suppliers.
“To the extent Qualcomm has breached any of its FRAND commitments, a conclusion we need not and do not reach, the remedy for such a breach lies in contract and patent law. Second, Qualcomm’s patent-licensing royalties and ‘no license, no chips’ policy do not impose an anticompetitive surcharge on rivals’ modem chip sales.
“Instead, these aspects of Qualcomm’s business model are ‘chip-supplier neutral’ and do not undermine competition in the relevant antitrust markets.
“Third, Qualcomm’s 2011 and 2013 agreements with Apple have not had the actual or practical effect of substantially foreclosing competition in the CDMA modem chip market.
“Furthermore, because these agreements were terminated years ago by Apple itself, there is nothing to be enjoined.
“We therefore REVERSE the district court’s judgment and VACATE its injunction as well as its partial grant of summary judgment.”
Emphasis theirs. For those not versed in Legalese – this is the Ninth Circuit dropping a nuclear bomb upon the whole nightmare mess Obama and Koh had foisted upon Qualcomm, the courts and all the rest of us.
And if you still bizarrely doubt the Deep State and its very many Swamp Creatures are an actual thing?:
“‘The court’s ruling is disappointing and we will be considering our options,’ FTC Bureau of Competition Director Ian Conner said in a statement.
Trump is currently running for his second term – and he STILL has anti-constitutional freaks like this guy at his FTC.
Please, Mister President – can this guy.
And extend a little further our Ninth Circuit Court-delivered moment of zen.