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Qualcomm hit with new $1B GPS patent suit

Posted: 31 Oct 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GPS? intellectual property?

Homeland security company Gabriel Technologies Corp. and its and subsidiary, Trace Technologies LLC, have filed of a federal court lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc.

According to the lawsuit, Qualcomm and its subsidiary, SnapTrack Inc., wrongly appropriated valuable assisted GPS intellectual property that was developed as part of a joint development agreement with Locate Networks, Inc. Rights under the joint development agreement were acquired by Trace.

The complaint, which seeks over $1 billion in damages, accuses Qualcomm of procuring more than 90 separate patents by falsely claiming ownership and failing to notify Gabriel about its secret activities. Norman Krasner, SnapTrack's then VP of technology, also is named as a defendant. The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, San Diego Division.

"We look forward to providing the court with evidence of Qualcomm's wrongdoing in this case," said Ronald E. Gillum Jr., president of Gabriel. "We intend to vigorously prosecute this misappropriation of our valuable intellectual property."

According to the complaint, Krasner and SnapTrack began taking and unlawfully patenting Locate's technology, motivated by a desire to add to SnapTrack's patent portfolio in hopes of enticing an acquisition by a larger company such as Qualcomm. In 2000, Qualcomm purchased SnapTrack for $1 billion in stock. The lawsuit states that Krasner and his wife received 300,000 shares of Qualcomm stock.

Gabriel is asking the court to declare that the company owns the contested technology and related patents and other intellectual property. The lawsuit includes claims against SnapTrack for breach of the joint development agreement. Also, defendants are accused of fraud, misappropriation, unfair competition and patent infringement.

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