Court ends ban on Qualcomm chips

A federal appeals court vacated a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission that banned the importation of certain 3G cell phones that carried Qualcomm chips. 

In a punctuation to the long-running and bitter saga over patent infringements and the importation of chips, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., also vacated part of the ITC ruling that said Qualcomm was responsible for inducing infringement of a patent for chips held by rival Broadcom that allowed phones to operate on reduced power mode to extend battery life.

The ITC ruled in 2007 that Qualcomm had forced handset manufacturers to install Qualcomm chips and battery-saving software into their mobile devices. Kyocera, Motorola, Samsung, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA had backed Qualcomm in the dispute.

The court said Tuesday that the ITC had over-stepped its authority when it barred the companies from importing 3G phones with the infringing Qualcomm chips.

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