Broadcom gets the latest victory in patent fight with Qualcomm

Appeals courts reviewing previous decisions in the Qualcomm and Broadcom patent disputes have been busy cranking out rulings in the last week. This latest, issued yesterday, favors Broadcom.

On Wednesday the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California upheld a unanimous verdict from a May 2007 jury trial in Santa Ana, Calif., which found certain aspects of Qualcomm's QChat push-to-talk and its EV-DO technologies infringed two Broadcom patents. The court upheld a court's injunction against Qualcomm following that trial, which prevents Qualcomm from selling products that use the infringing patents and it declined Qualcomm's request for a new trial. Qualcomm did prevail over one part of the appeal: the court determined a third patent related to video processing, which the jury said Qualcomm was also infringing, was in fact an invalid patent.

It was only Friday of last week that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit concluded an appeal, requested by Broadcom, of previous rulings at the U.S. International Trade Commission that had come out in favor of Qualcomm. The Federal Court gave some victories to each side. In Broadcom's favor, the Federal Circuit ruled that the ITC should re-investigate an earlier ITC decision that a certain Qualcomm product did not violate Broadcom patents for sending and receiving RF signals, and it sent that particular claim against Qualcomm back to the ITC, where Broadcom can be expected to pursue it once again. In Qualcomm's favor, the appeals court affirmed an ITC decision that certain other Qualcomm chips did not use that technology, and it upheld another ITC ruling that Qualcomm chips did not violate yet another patent.

Several cases between the two companies are still pending. These include the high-profile ITC decision last year that banned sales in the U.S of cellular phones that contain Qualcomm chips that infringe on Broadcom patents, which is still under appeal at the Federal Circuit; another case that was stayed by the Santa Ana court, which Broadcom may take to trial; as well as antitrust and litigation misconduct cases that Broadcom has filed against Qualcomm.

For more:
- see this article in CNET
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