Qualcomm, Broadcom get split ruling on patents

11 Oct 2006

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Qualcomm violated parts of a patent held by chip designer Broadcom that helps cell phones conserve battery power when out of network coverage, a judge ruled.

However, Qualcomm did not infringe two other patents on chips used in cell phones and other wireless devices, according to Charles E. Bullock, an administrative law judge hearing the case in Washington on behalf of the International Trade Commission.

Qualcomm had challenged the patents held by Broadcom, but the judge ruled all three patents were valid.

The case was brought to the commission by Broadcom, which is based in Irvine, California.

Qualcomm, based in San Diego, said it would appeal the decision to the full commission as it explored designs to replace the disputed technology.

The judge's ruling will go to the full commission next year for a final determination.

Broadcom said it would ask the commission to review the portion of the ruling that favored Qualcomm.

The companies have 10 suits and countersuits pending in courts from California to Europe over trade and patent issues relating to technologies that power cell phones, Bluetooth devices and wireless Internet equipment.

Last week, a federal judge in San Diego ordered the billionaire founders of the companies to face each other behind closed doors to try to resolve their differences.

No agreement was struck and the judge was expected to order further sessions.

© 2006 The Associated Press

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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