As I approached the Qualcomm booth today, I had a large and luscious chocolate cake in my hand. I gave it away in a hurry though.
Eating is always a tricky thing at a show like Mobile World Congress. You miss meals altogether, you graze on biscuits and sometimes you get food - and fail to eat it. Hospitality suites are hospitality suites after all - but what if you are too busy taking notes to take advantage of the food on offer?
On one stand, after the briefing, I was offered a beautiful pyramid-shaped chocolate cake, covered with thick gooey icing. I was certainly hungry enough to want it. But it was not something I could wolf down straight away. So I carried it carefully to my next briefing.
But what's the etiquette of bringing one vendor's food to another vendor's stand? I could reverse the trend and offer it to Qualcomm, I thought. It would be a nice gesture, and it would feel good not to be just taking all the time.
Then I realised who the cake was from. There was simply no way I could offer it to Qualcomm. The company I had it from, I suddently remembered, was none other than Broadcom, the company whose lawsuit has prevented Qualcomm from selling its 3G chips in the US.
Luckily, at just that moment, I ran into a hungry-looking journalist colleague from the Register, Andrew Orlowski. I handed him the cake, and proceeded to my briefing.
And Qualcomm really wouldn't have liked a Broadcom cake. Our briefing (on 3G chips in an HP laptop) started off with a lengthy legal disclaimer. read out from a sheet of paper. Nothing in this briefing implied that Qualcomm has any intention of ever actually selling any of these chips in the US.
But I did get to eat too. As I went in, I was given a chicken,salami and salad baguette. As I considered my options, my Qualcomm contact pulled out his own sandwich and we both ate. "I've been carrying this around for hours, waiting for my chance," he said.
So all ended well - except for Qualcomm, still suffering from the injunction.
Here's a picture of the cake in question...