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Qualcom's bid for injunction of Broadcom chips, dismissed

Posted: 05 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3G? cellular chips? cellular IC? Broadcom? Qualcomm?

A federal court in San Diego, California denied Qualcomm Inc.'s motion to enjoin Broadcom Corp.'s 3G cellular chip business due to alleged trade secret misappropriation. U.S. district judge Rudi M. Brewster characterized Qualcomm's requested relief as "light years beyond" what is appropriate.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm withdrew allegations against Broadcom of software theft and three sworn declarations supporting the allegations. As a compromise, Broadcom and Qualcomm will agree on a set of documents to be quarantined pending the outcome of the case. Trial is set October next year.

However, Broadcom announced two new initiatives in its legal fight against Qualcomm's anticompetitive conduct regarding cellphone technology.

"Royalty double-dipping"
The parties have a separate case pending in the same court. Broadcom filed a motion for summary judgment to stop Qualcomm's anticompetitive practice of "double-dipping" for royalties on similar patents from chip competitors as well as its own customers as such amounts to patent misuse, rendering Qualcomm's patents unenforceable.

Broadcom appealed for a federal antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm that was dismissed last month in a New Jersey trial court. Broadcom believes the decision was at odds with the Federal Trade Commission's unanimous decision on Rambus' abuse of industry standards-setting process that constituted violation of antitrust laws.

Actions by Broadcom
Broadcom asserted that Qualcomm products infringe 18 U.S. patents. An initial determination from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) if Qualcomm infringes three of those patents is expected October 10. The ITC staff recommended a finding of infringement and a remedy to halt the importation of infringing Qualcomm chips and cellphones containing those chips. Qualcomm will face trial on two more of the Broadcom patents in March 2007 in San Diego, and on five more in May 2007 in Santa Ana, California.

In October last year, Broadcom and five other mobile wireless technology companies filed complaints with the European Commission (EC) requesting investigation on Qualcomm's anticompetitive conduct on licensing its patents and selling its chipsets for mobile wireless devices and systems. EC began a preliminary investigation, and is determining whether to institute a formal investigation, of Qualcomm. A decision is expected later this year.

Last June, Broadcom and Texas Instruments Inc. filed complaints with the Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) asserting claims comparable to those asserted in EC. The Korean FTC is determining whether to institute a formal investigation of Qualcomm.

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