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Bush veto sought in Qualcomm mobile ban

Posted: 13 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Broadcom Qualcomm suit? patent infringement? ITC ruling on Qualcomm?

Qualcomm Inc. will ask U.S. President George W. Bush to veto the federal trade agency's importation ban on some of its 3G chips because of patent infringement. It said it will also immediately ask for a delay from the courts.

In a statement, Qualcomm said it was "extremely disappointed" with the U.S. International Trade Commission's (ITC) decision to ban the import of future models of 3G handsets using chipsets and software that infringes a Broadcom Corp. patent.

"The public injury that would result from the remedy imposed by the commission is grossly disproportionate to any benefit flowing to Broadcom from such broad enforcement of a recently purchased patent. Broadcom does not make or sell EV-DO chips, and Broadcom's claims that it can supply W-CDMA products for the United States have been rebuffed by W-CDMA operators in submissions the operators made to the ITC," the company said.

The ITC decision came June 7, after a 3-2 vote. It is the latest move in a long saga between Qualcomm and rival Broadcom. In May, a federal court jury in California found that Qualcomm had infringed on three of Broadcom's patents, and awarded the latter $19.6 million.

The order means that future models containing the infringing chipsets cannot be imported into the U.S. However, current models based on the chipsets are "grandfathered" in. The order will be enforced in 60 days, unless Bush vetoes it or Qualcomm is able to get temporary court relief.

Carriers that would be affected include Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA.

Broadcom noted in a June 7 statement that it is willing to work a deal with Qualcomm. "We simply want to be adequately compensated for the use of our intellectual property," Broadcom senior VP and general counsel David A. Dull said. "To that end, we have made it clear to Qualcomm that we are open to discussions regarding the potential for licensing of our patent. The ball is in Qualcomm's court."

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times

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