The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit strikes down a sweeping injunction against a semiconductor company and reins in an expansive interpretation of the Sherman Act (Qualcomm)

On August 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decisively reversed the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC or Commission) controversial district court win challenging Qualcomm’s licensing practices. In rejecting every aspect of the lower court’s decision, the Ninth Circuit panel addressed both general antitrust principles and questions specific to conduct by standard-essential patent holders. The decision caps a closely watched FTC enforcement action that was controversial from the start. FTC v. Qualcomm The FTC’s complaint against Qualcomm, the world’s largest smartphone chipmaker, had been the product of a 2-1 Commission vote in the waning days of the Obama administration. Then-Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen dissented from the decision to file suit, criticizing the

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