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Qualcomm guilty of contempt of Broadcom injunction

Posted: 20 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Qualcomm injunction? 3G patent? EV-DO chip?

A federal judge has found Qualcomm Inc. in contempt of an injunction entered last December, which was meant to prevent the company from continued infringement of two Broadcom Corp. 3G patents.

As to Broadcom's U.S. Patent No. 5,657,317, the injunction prohibits Qualcomm from making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing and developing certain EV-DO chips. The injunction also provides a sunset period during which Qualcomm can continue to sell legacy EV-DO chips to legacy customers until January 31, 2009, provided that it pays a royalty to Broadcom. U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna found that Qualcomm violated both provisions of the injunction by selling and offering to sell enjoined EV-DO chips and by failing to pay royalties on legacy EV-DO chips.

With regard to the sales of enjoined EV-DO chips, and citing the "egregiousness" of Qualcomm's conduct, the court ordered Qualcomm to retrieve the chips and destroy them or, if it is unable to do so, to pay Broadcom Qualcomm's gross profits on the sales. With regard to the sales of legacy chips to legacy customers, the court ordered Qualcomm to pay past royalties, plus a penalty. The court further ordered Qualcomm to take remedial steps to prevent further violations of the injunction, and awarded Broadcom its attorney fees.

"This is the second time that Qualcomm has been found in contempt of the same federal court injunction," said David Rosmann, Broadcom's VP, intellectual property litigation. "Qualcomm's ongoing contempt reflects a remarkable disregard for a system meant to protect intellectual property rights."

In August, Judge Selna found that Qualcomm violated the injunction by failing to pay royalties under Broadcom's U.S. Patent No. 6,389,010 on infringing QChat products. Citing the "egregiousness" of Qualcomm's conduct there, the court ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom the gross profits Qualcomm had earned on its infringing QChat products.

Broadcom filed its infringement case against Qualcomm in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, in May 2005. On May 29, 2007, a unanimous jury returned a verdict finding that Qualcomm infringed three Broadcom patents and awarded $19.64 million in damages for past infringement. A federal appeals court recently upheld the infringement findings on the '010 and '317 patents, which relate to network selection and simultaneous network access technologies.

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