Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
12 Months Ended
Sep. 29, 2013
Notes to Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Note 7 - Commitments and Contingencies
Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies
Legal Proceedings. 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 was 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. The ITC’s orders were affirmed on appeal, and on November 28, 2011, the United States Supreme Court denied the Company’s petition for review. On January 18, 2012, pursuant to the parties’ stipulation, the District Court in the Eastern District of Texas lifted the stay and ordered that the case be moved to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. On March 1, 2012, that court consolidated the case with an earlier-filed lawsuit filed by Tessera against multiple parties, including some of the Company’s semiconductor chip package suppliers. The court has set April 24, 2014 as the hearing date for claims construction and any summary judgment motions that may be filed. Trial is scheduled for August 25, 2014. Tessera may continue to seek alleged past damages in the district court, but it cannot obtain injunctive relief due to the expiration of the patents.
MOSAID Technologies Incorporated v. Dell, Inc. et al.: On March 16, 2011, MOSAID filed a complaint against Atheros Communications, Inc. (Atheros Communications), which the Company acquired in May 2011 and renamed Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. (Qualcomm Atheros), and 32 other entities in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging that certain Wi-Fi products infringed six MOSAID patents and seeking damages for the relevant statutory period prior to May 2011. On July 17, 2013, MOSAID and the Company entered into an agreement pursuant to which MOSAID agreed to dismiss with prejudice all claims against the Company, licensed to the Company certain MOSAID patents and provided other considerations, and the Company paid to MOSAID an amount that was not material to the Company’s financial statements. The court dismissed the claims against the Company with prejudice on August 2, 2013.
ParkerVision, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated: On July 20, 2011, ParkerVision filed a complaint against the Company in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida alleging that certain of the Company’s products infringe seven of its patents alleged to cover direct down-conversion receivers. ParkerVision’s complaint sought damages and injunctive and other relief. On February 28, 2012, ParkerVision filed an amended complaint dropping two patents from the case and adding one new patent. On January 22, 2013, the court granted in part ParkerVision’s motion to dismiss the Company’s counterclaim for inequitable conduct, and the Company subsequently withdrew the remainder of its inequitable conduct counterclaim. On February 20, 2013, the court issued its claim construction order. The Company filed its amended answer and counterclaims on April 11, 2013. Subsequently, ParkerVision narrowed its allegations to assert only four patents. The trial began on October 7, 2013. On October 17, 2013, the jury returned a verdict finding all asserted claims of the four at-issue patents to be infringed and finding that none of the asserted claims are invalid. On October 24, 2013, the jury returned a separate verdict assessing total past damages of approximately $173 million and finding that the Company’s infringement was not willful. The Company recorded a $173 million charge in other expenses in fiscal 2013 as a result of this verdict. The court will set a schedule for post-verdict proceedings, including the parties’ respective motions for judgment as a matter of law and ParkerVision’s request for ongoing equitable relief. The Company intends to appeal.
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 was 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. On October 19, 2011, the Commission notified the Company that it should provide to the Commission additional documents and information. On January 16, 2012, the Company provided additional documents and information in response to that request. On July 10, 2013, the Commission ordered the Company to provide additional documents and information. The Company continues to cooperate fully with the Commission’s preliminary investigation.
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 appealed to the Seoul High Court, and on June 19, 2013, the Seoul High Court affirmed the KFTC’s decision. On July 4, 2013, the Company filed an appeal with the Korea Supreme Court.
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 held hearings on 19 different dates, with another hearing scheduled for January 22, 2014 and additional hearing dates yet to be scheduled.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Formal Order of Private Investigation and Department of Justice Investigation: On September 8, 2010, the Company was notified by the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional office 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. In 2010, the audit committee completed an internal review of the allegations with the assistance of independent counsel and independent forensic accountants. This internal review into the whistleblower’s allegations and related accounting practices did not identify any errors in the Company’s financial statements. On January 27, 2012, the Company learned that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California/Department of Justice (collectively, DOJ) had begun an investigation regarding the Company’s compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). FCPA compliance is also a focus of the SEC investigation. The audit committee continues to conduct an internal review into the Company’s compliance with the FCPA with the assistance of independent counsel and independent forensic accountants.
As previously disclosed, the Company has discovered, and as a part of its ongoing cooperation with these investigations has informed the SEC and the DOJ of, instances in which special hiring consideration, gifts or other benefits (collectively, benefits) were provided to several individuals associated with Chinese state-owned companies or agencies. Based on the facts currently known, the Company believes the aggregate monetary value of the benefits in question to be less than $250,000, excluding employment compensation. The Company is continuing to cooperate with the SEC and the DOJ, but is unable to predict the outcome of their investigations.
The Company will continue to vigorously defend itself in the foregoing matters. However, litigation and investigations are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, the Company cannot predict the outcome of these matters. Other than the amount recorded for the ParkerVision verdict, the Company has not recorded any accrual at September 29, 2013 for contingent losses associated with these matters based on its belief that losses, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be reasonably estimated at this time. Nonetheless, the unfavorable resolution of one or more of these matters could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. 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 other legal actions will not have a material adverse effect on its business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
Loans and Debentures. The Company’s former BWA subsidiaries (Note 10) had loan and debenture liabilities in connection with the BWA spectrum won in India in fiscal 2010. The subsidiaries were merged into one remaining former BWA subsidiary in August 2013, and that subsidiary had a loan from a bank related to payment of $81 million to the India Government’s Department of Telecommunications in March 2012 (the DoT loan), which was recorded by the Company as a charge to other expenses in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. On on June 25, 2013, all outstanding debentures ($492 million, including accrued interest) were redeemed, and on August 30, 2013, all outstanding loans, excluding the DoT loan, ($368 million) were repaid, in full using funding provided by Bharti, and the Company’s related guarantee and indemnification agreements were terminated. Prior to the deconsolidation of the BWA subsidiaries on June 25, 2013, cash paid for interest on the loans and debentures was $92 million, $88 million and $94 million for fiscal 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
The DoT loan was guaranteed by QUALCOMM Incorporated and one of its wholly owned subsidiaries and was denominated in Indian rupees. The fair value of the guarantee was recorded as a liability when the Company deconsolidated the BWA subsidiaries (Note 10). The DoT loan was due and payable on December 1, 2014 and bore interest at an annual rate that was reset quarterly, plus 0.25% (10.20% at September 29, 2013) with interest payments due monthly. The DoT loan was repaid in full on October 15, 2013 ($67 million) using funding provided by Bharti as a condition to Bharti’s acquisition of all of the Company’s interest in the remaining former BWA subsidiary, which occurred on October 17, 2013.
Indemnifications. With the exception of the practices of its Qualcomm Atheros subsidiary, 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 Qualcomm Atheros’ indemnification agreements, software license agreements and product sale agreements (including its standard software license agreements and standard terms and conditions of semiconductor sales), Qualcomm 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 September 29, 2013, Qualcomm 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 its 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 September 29, 2013 associated with these indemnification arrangements, other than insignificant amounts, based on the Company’s belief that additional liabilities, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be reasonably 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. Obligations, which generally have a remaining term of less than one year, under these agreements at September 29, 2013 for each of the subsequent five years from fiscal 2014 through 2018 were approximately $3.3 billion, $202 million, $54 million, $6 million and $3 million, respectively, and $10 million thereafter. Of these amounts, for fiscal 2014 and 2015, commitments to purchase integrated circuit product inventories comprised $2.7 billion and $81 million, respectively. Integrated circuit product inventory obligations represent purchase commitments for silicon wafers and assembly and test services. Under the Company’s manufacturing relationships with its foundry partners and assembly and test service providers, cancelation of outstanding purchase orders is generally allowed but requires payment of all costs incurred through the date of cancelation.
Leases. The future minimum lease payments for all capital leases and operating leases at September 29, 2013 were as follows (in millions):


















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 31 years and with provisions in certain leases for cost-of-living increases. Rental expense for fiscal 2013, 2012 and 2011 was $90 million, $87 million and $87 million, respectively. The Company leases certain property under capital lease agreements 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. Capital lease obligations are included in other liabilities.