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Qualcomm to appeal to minimise ITC order impact

Posted: 09 Aug 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Broadcom-Qualcomm case  patent infringement  ITC ruling 

After losing its bid to gain a veto from the Bush administration, Qualcomm Inc. plans to appeal the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling to ban on imports into the U.S. some 3G handsets.

The White House decision adds pressure on Qualcomm to reach a settlement of its long-running and bitter patent battle with Broadcom Corp.

Qualcomm said in a statement it still maintains that Broadcom's patents are not valid. And it said it is still working on an appeal and stay request with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month, the appeals court said it did not have jurisdiction in the case.

"We will pursue all legal and technical options available to us to minimise the impact of the ITC order on consumers, our customers and the entire wireless industry," Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm's CEO, said in a statement Monday.

Other options
However, the appeals court seldom overturns ITC decisions, and there seem to be few other avenues open for Qualcomm, Lyle Vander Schaaf, a former ITC lawyer, told "Options for Qualcomm, other than settlement [with Broadcom], are going away," he said.

Qualcomm added that it is working on a technical work-around solution with its customers, mainly Asian handset manufacturers.

"While the acceptability of this new software is subject to challenges by Broadcom, we are confident that it is outside the scope of the ITC order, and we are confident in the technical performance of this software," Qualcomm said.

The response followed a very detailed ruling from U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, in which she said that she will permit an injunction to remain that prevents the import of any wireless handset containing Qualcomm's chipsets into the U.S. market.

Broadcom, for its part, said that it was "gratified" by Schwab's decision, and hopes that Qualcomm's failure to win a veto of the ruling will prompt the company to negotiate a licensing agreement for the technology.

"This decision strengthens the intellectual property rights of all U.S. companies, not just Broadcom," David A. Dull, Broadcom's senior VP and general counsel, said in a statement. "And (it) sends a clear message to all those who would seek to escape the consequences of their patent infringement. In upholding the ITC remedy, the administration is also encouraging a market-based solution to patent issues that is in the best interests of American consumers, U.S. companies and global patent protection."

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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