Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Jun. 26, 2011
Notes to Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Note 8 - Commitments and Contingencies
Note 8 — Commitments and Contingencies
Litigation. Tessera, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated: On April 17, 2007, Tessera filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 against the Company and other companies, alleging infringement of two patents. The district court action is stayed pending resolution of the ITC proceeding, including all appeals. On May 20, 2009, the ITC issued a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order, both of which were terminated when the patents expired on September 24, 2010. During the period of the exclusion order, the Company shifted supply of accused chips for customers who manufacture products that may be imported to the United States to a licensed supplier of Tessera, and the Company continued to supply those customers without interruption. On December 21, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision affirming the ITC’s orders, and on March 29, 2011, it declined to reconsider that decision. The Company may appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Once the stay is lifted, Tessera may continue to seek back damages in the district court, but it may not seek injunctive relief due to the expiration of the patents.
MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated, et al.: MicroUnity filed a total of three patent infringement complaints, on March 16, 2010, June 3, 2010 and January 27, 2011, against the Company and a number of other technology companies, including Texas Instruments, Samsung, Apple, Nokia, Google and HTC, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaints against the Company allege infringement of a total of 15 patents and appear to accuse Snapdragon products. The district court consolidated the actions in May 2011. The claim construction hearing is set for August 12, 2012, and trial is scheduled for June 3, 2013. The Company has filed a motion to sever the claims against it from the other defendants and to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) Complaint: On January 4, 2010, the KFTC issued a written decision, finding that the Company had violated South Korean law by offering certain discounts and rebates for purchases of its CDMA chips and for including in certain agreements language requiring the continued payment of royalties after all licensed patents have expired. The KFTC levied a fine, which the Company paid in the second quarter of fiscal 2010. The Company is appealing that decision in the Korean courts.
Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) Complaint: The JFTC received unspecified complaints alleging that the Company’s business practices are, in some way, a violation of Japanese law. On September 29, 2009, the JFTC issued a cease and desist order concluding that the Company’s Japanese licensees were forced to cross-license patents to the Company on a royalty-free basis and were forced to accept a provision under which they agreed not to assert their essential patents against the Company’s other licensees who made a similar commitment in their license agreements with the Company. The cease and desist order seeks to require the Company to modify its existing license agreements with Japanese companies to eliminate these provisions while preserving the license of the Company’s patents to those companies. The Company disagrees with the conclusions that it forced its Japanese licensees to agree to any provision in the parties’ agreements and that those provisions violate the Japanese Antimonopoly Act. The Company has invoked its right under Japanese law to an administrative hearing before the JFTC. In February 2010, the Tokyo High Court granted the Company’s motion and issued a stay of the cease and desist order pending the administrative hearing before the JFTC. The JFTC has had nine hearing days to date, with an additional hearing day scheduled on October 19, 2011, and additional hearing days yet to be scheduled.
Icera Complaint to the European Commission: On June 7, 2010, the European Commission (the Commission) notified and provided the Company with a redacted copy of a complaint filed with the Commission by Icera, Inc. alleging that the Company has engaged in anticompetitive activity. The Company has been asked by the Commission to submit a preliminary response to the portions of the Complaint disclosed to it, and the Company submitted its response in July 2010. The Company will cooperate fully with the Commission.
Broadcom Corporation et al. v. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation: On November 10, 2009, Broadcom and Atheros (Note 12), which was acquired by the Company in May 2011, filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, requesting the court to declare, among other things, that United States patent number 5,487,069 (the '069 Patent) assigned to CSIRO is invalid, unenforceable and that Atheros does not infringe any valid claims of the '069 Patent. On October 14, 2010, CSIRO filed a complaint against Atheros and Broadcom (amended and consolidated with complaints against other third parties on April 6, 2011) alleging infringement of the '069 Patent. Trial is scheduled for April 9, 2012.
MOSAID Technologies Incorporated v. Dell, Inc. et al.: On March 16, 2011, MOSAID filed a complaint against Atheros and 32 other entities in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In its infringement contentions, MOSAID alleges that certain of Atheros’ products infringe United States patent numbers 5,131,006, 5,151,920, 5,422,887, 5,706,428, 5,563,786 and 6,992,972. MOSAID seeks unspecified damages and other relief. Discovery has not yet begun.
Formal Order of Private Investigation: On September 8, 2010, the Company was notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Los Angeles Regional office (SEC) of a formal order of private investigation. The Company understands that the investigation arose from a “whistleblower’s” allegations made in December 2009 to the audit committee of the Company’s Board of Directors and to the SEC. The audit committee completed an internal review with the assistance of independent counsel and independent forensic accountants. This internal review into the allegations and related accounting practices did not identify any errors in the Company’s financial statements. The Company continues to cooperate with the SEC’s ongoing investigation.
Other: The Company has been named, along with many other manufacturers of wireless phones, wireless operators and industry-related organizations, as a defendant in purported class action lawsuits, and individually filed actions pending in federal court in Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. superior court, seeking monetary damages arising out of its sale of cellular phones.
While there can be no assurance of favorable outcomes, the Company believes the claims made by other parties in the foregoing matters are without merit and will vigorously defend the actions. The Company has not recorded any accrual for contingent liabilities associated with the legal proceedings described above based on the Company’s belief that liabilities, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be reasonably estimated at this time. The Company is engaged in numerous other legal actions not described above arising in the ordinary course of its business and, while there can be no assurance, believes that the ultimate outcome of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on its operating results, liquidity or financial position.
Litigation Settlement, Patent License and Other Related Items. On April 26, 2009, the Company entered into a Settlement and Patent License and Non-Assert Agreement with Broadcom. The Company agreed to pay Broadcom $891 million, of which $546 million was paid through June 26, 2011, and the remainder will be paid ratably through April 2013. The Company recorded a pre-tax charge of $783 million related to this agreement during fiscal 2009. At June 26, 2011, the carrying value of the liability was $335 million, which also approximated the fair value of the contractual liability net of imputed interest.
Loans Payable Related to India Spectrum Acquisition. In connection with the India BWA spectrum purchase in June 2010, certain of the Company’s subsidiaries in India entered into loan agreements with multiple lenders that are denominated in Indian rupees. The loans bear interest at an annual rate based on the highest rate among the bank lenders, which is reset quarterly, plus 0.25% (9.75% at June 26, 2011) with interest payments due monthly. The loans are due and payable in full in December 2012. However, each lender has the right to demand prepayment of its portion of the outstanding loans on December 15, 2011 subject to sufficient prior written notice. As a result, the loans are classified as a component of current liabilities. The loans can be prepaid without penalty on certain dates and are guaranteed by QUALCOMM Incorporated and one of its subsidiaries. The loan agreements contain standard covenants, which, among other things, limit actions by the subsidiaries that are party to the loan agreements, including the incurrence of loans and equity investments, disposition of assets, mergers and consolidations and other matters customarily restricted in such agreements. At June 26, 2011, the aggregate carrying value of the loans was $1.1 billion, which approximated fair value.
Indemnifications. With the exception of the practices of Atheros (Note 12), which the Company acquired in May 2011, the Company generally does not indemnify its customers and licensees for losses sustained from infringement of third-party intellectual property rights. However, the Company is contingently liable under certain product sales, services, license and other agreements to indemnify certain customers against certain types of liability and/or damages arising from qualifying claims of patent infringement by products or services sold or provided by the Company. The Company’s obligations under these agreements may be limited in terms of time and/or amount, and in some instances, the Company may have recourse against third parties for certain payments made by the Company. Under Atheros’ indemnification agreements, software license agreements and product sale agreements, including its standard software license agreements and standard terms and conditions of semiconductor sales, Atheros agrees, subject to restrictions and after certain conditions are met, to indemnify and defend its licensees and customers against third-party claims asserting infringement of certain intellectual property rights, which may include patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secrets, and to pay any judgments entered on such claims against the licensees or customers. Through June 26, 2011, Atheros has received a number of claims from its direct and indirect customers and other third parties for indemnification under such agreements with respect to alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights by Atheros’ products.
These indemnification arrangements are not initially measured and recognized at fair value because they are deemed to be similar to product warranties in that they relate to claims and/or other actions that could impair the ability of the Company’s direct or indirect customers to use the Company’s products or services. Accordingly, the Company records liabilities resulting from the arrangements when they are probable and can be reasonably estimated. Reimbursements under indemnification arrangements have not been material to the Company’s consolidated financial statements. The Company has not recorded any accrual for contingent liabilities at June 26, 2011 associated with these indemnification arrangements, other than negligible amounts for reimbursement of legal costs, based on the Company’s belief that additional liabilities, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be estimated at this time.
Purchase Obligations. The Company has agreements with suppliers and other parties to purchase inventory, other goods and services and long-lived assets. Noncancelable obligations under these agreements at June 26, 2011 for the remainder of fiscal 2011 and for each of the subsequent four years from fiscal 2012 through 2015 were approximately $1.5 billion, $336 million, $30 million, $4 million and $33 million, respectively, and $24 million thereafter. Of these amounts, for the remainder of fiscal 2011 and for fiscal 2012, commitments to purchase integrated circuit product inventories comprised $1.2 billion and $34 million, respectively.
Leases. The future minimum lease payments for all capital leases and operating leases at June 26, 2011 were as follows (in millions):
Remainder of fiscal 2011


















Total minimum lease payments



Deduct: Amounts representing interest

Present value of minimum lease payments

Deduct: Current portion of capital lease obligations

Long-term portion of capital lease obligations


The Company leases certain of its land, facilities and equipment under noncancelable operating leases, with terms ranging from less than one year to 35 years and with provisions in certain leases for cost-of-living increases. The Company leases certain property under capital lease agreements associated with its discontinued operations (Note 10), primarily related to site leases that have an initial term of five to seven years with renewal options of up to five additional renewal periods. In determining the capital lease classification for the site leases upon commencement of each lease, the Company included all renewal options. As a result of its restructuring plan, the Company does not intend to renew its existing site capital leases. At June 26, 2011, the Company expects to write off $161 million of site capital lease assets (which are included in buildings and improvements in property, plant and equipment) and $184 million of its capital lease obligations (which are included in other liabilities) at the end of the current contractual lease terms related to lease renewal option periods thereafter. Any early terminations may impact the amounts that are written off.