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Court forbids Broadcom from revealing Qualcomm WCDMA trade secrets

Posted: 03 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Qualcomm? Broadcom? WCDMA? patent infringement?

CDMA developer Qualcomm Inc. reported that the federal court in San Diego, California has enjoined Broadcom from any further solicitation, use or dissemination of Qualcomm's confidential WCDMA trade secrets, including source code.

"Qualcomm is pleased with the injunction against Broadcom prohibiting any use of our confidential information, as well as the prohibition against future attempts to obtain such information," said William Sailer, senior VP and legal counsel for Qualcomm. "While we welcome fair competition in the marketplace, we will defend our business against those who attempt to misappropriate the benefits of our extensive and continuous investment in research and innovation. This preliminary injunction is an important first step toward protecting Qualcomm from Broadcom's misappropriation and misuse of Qualcomm's intellectual property."

According to Qualcomm's announcement, Broadcom's agreement to the injunction and its imposition by the court demonstrate that an earlier Broadcom press release, reporting that Qualcomm's request for such an injunction had been denied, was erroneous. The preliminary injunction will remain in effect at least through completion of the trial in this case, set to start on Oct. 10, 2007.

In Qualcomm's motion seeking the injunction, the company discovered that Broadcom, during the period leading up to its introduction of WCDMA baseband products, had engaged in a successful multi-year effort to improperly acquire thousands of pages of Qualcomm confidential business and technical information. This includes valuable source code, relating to Qualcomm's WCDMA product development, found in the motion.

The preliminary injunction bars any use of the confidential technical and business information in the misappropriated Qualcomm documents, including the exploitation of such information in the marketing, sales or development of Broadcom's current or future products.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm also recently announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) determined that it would reexamine the validity of one of the patents Broadcom has asserted against Qualcomm in the International Trade Commission (ITC). The PTO will reexamine U.S. Patent No. 6,374,311 B1 ('311 patent).

According to another announcement made by Qualcomm, in findings issued on Oct. 10, the administrative law judge (ALJ) presiding over the ITC matter determined that Qualcomm does not infringe this patent but also concluded that the patent was not invalid. The PTO's decision to review the validity of the '311 patent is based not only on information that was before the ALJ in the ITC, but also on additional information that has come to light since the evidentiary record was closed in the ITC. The PTO undertakes reexamination of an issued patent when, as here, information is presented to the PTO that raises a substantial new question of patentability.

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