Court says Broadcom antitrust suit can proceed

A federal appeals court has ruled that Broadcom can pursue antitrust claims against Qualcomm, which Broadcom claims violated a pledge to standards groups regarding WCDMA technology. The suit alleges that Qualcomm failed to license its technology on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. Today's ruling overturns a New Jersey district court's ruling in August 2006 that granted Qualcomm's motion to dismiss the case. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, however, overturned two portions of the August 2006 ruling: namely that a patent-holder's violation of promises to groups like standards bodies "is actionable anticompetitive conduct."

Both Broadcom and Qualcomm trumpeted the latest decision as a win. Broadcom said it is pleased it can now pursue its anti-trust suit, and Qualcomm is pleased that only two of Broadcom's eight claims remain. The company expects the other two to be dismissed as well.

For more on the case:
- read this press release from Broadcom
- read this press release from Qualcomm
- check out this WSJ report (sub. req.)

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