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ITC Judge urges ban on importation of SiRF chips

Posted: 27 Aug 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:International Trade Commission  infringing chips  GPS products  infringement 

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has recommended that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) bar from importation into the U.S. infringing chips of SiRF Technology Holdings Inc., and all downstream products that incorporate those chips.

The affected products include personal navigation devices (PND), GPS modules and receivers, personal digital assistants (PDA), and cellular telephones. The ALJ also recommended that the ITC enter a Cease and Desist Order prohibiting SiRF from engaging in certain activities related to the infringing chips.

The recommended remedy determination of ITC Administrative Law Judge Carl C. Charneski follows his Initial Determination earlier this month, in which he found that SiRF infringes six GPS-related patents held by Global Locate, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Broadcom. That ruling followed a trial earlier this year. A Final Determination by the full six-person Commission on both the finding of infringement and the remedy is expected by early December.

The remedy recommendation, issued last Friday (August 22), would bar both SiRF and manufacturers of products such as PNDs, PDAs and cellular phones from bringing their products into the U.S. if they contain SiRF's infringing chips. The infringing chips include a range of SiRF GPS products.

Judge Charneski's ruling in favour of Broadcom on the infringement issue and the follow-up remedy recommendation come on the heels of a June ruling by a separate ITC judge, who rejected SiRF's allegations that Broadcom had infringed two SiRF patents.

"We believe the ALJ's remedy recommendation further confirms the strength of our intellectual property that SiRF is infringing." said David Rosmann, Broadcom's Vice President, Intellectual Property Litigation.

The six patents that SiRF was found to infringe are United States patents 6,417,801; 6,937,187; 6,606,346; 7,158,080; 6,704,651; and 6,651,000, relating to extended ephemeris assistance (Long Term Orbits), calculating time in GPS receivers, enhancing sensitivity in assisted GPS

systems, and implementing hardware structures for parallel correlation.

In addition to the infringement claims against SiRF in the ITC, Broadcom and Global Locate have sued SiRF in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., in two different filings, with claims of infringement of four patents filed in January 2007 and claims of infringement relating to

four additional patents, including patents covering SiRF's multimedia processors and GPS receivers, filed in May 2008.

The May lawsuit resulted after numerous attempts by Broadcom to resolve all patent disputes between Global Locate, which Broadcom acquired in July 2007, and SiRF, which previously sued Global Locate in both the ITC and U.S. District Court.

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