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U.S. court favours Broadcom over Qualcomm

Posted: 26 Sep 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cellular chips  patent infringement  Broadcom patents  intellectual property 

Broadcom Corp. announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a unanimous jury verdict that Qualcomm Inc.'s cellular chips and software infringe two Broadcom patents, and upheld the injunction entered by the district court on those two patents. The appeals court also rejected Qualcomm's request for a new trial. The court ruled that a third patent was invalid.

"The appeals court's decision is a major victory for Broadcom in our ongoing effort to protect our intellectual property," said David Rosmann, Broadcom vice president, Intellectual Property litigation.

Broadcom filed the infringement case in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., in May 2005. On May 29, 2007, a unanimous jury returned a verdict finding that Qualcomm infringed three Broadcom patents and awarded past damages to Broadcom. Late last year, U.S. District Court Judge James Selna issued an injunction against Qualcomm designed to stop the company from continuing its infringement of the three Broadcom patents.

In August 2008, Judge Selna found Qualcomm in contempt of his injunction by, among other things, failing to pay royalties to Broadcom on infringing QChat products. Citing the "egregiousness" of Qualcomm's conduct, the court ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom the gross profits Qualcomm has earned on its infringing QChat(R) products. Judge Selna further ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom's attorneys fees in connection with the contempt proceedings.

The two patents that the appeals court upheld are U.S. Patent No. 5,657,317, which the jury found infringed by Qualcomm's EV-DO technology, and U.S. Patent No. 6,389,010, which the jury found infringed by Qualcomm's QChat chips and software. The third patent, held invalid, is U.S. Patent No. 6,847,686, which relates to video processing technology.

The Santa Ana case is one of several cases in which Broadcom continues to pursue claims against Qualcomm regarding patent infringement, anti-competitive behaviour and fraud issues. Qualcomm has either lost or withdrawn all of the patent infringement cases it brought against Broadcom.

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