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Broadcom bags Cirrus storage patents

One less avenue for sueing

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Broadcom is stumping up $18m cash for a clutch of magnetic and optical storage patents held by Cirrus Logic.

The comms chip maker now owns intellectual property over certain read channel and other hard disk controller technologies. And err, that's about it, except for a canned quote, which you can read here.

Cirrus, the niche designer of DSP chips, doesn't exactly need the dough. Last quarter it ended with $180m in the bank. And it expects to close its current quarter with $194m-$198m. But the company shows that owning intellectual property pays. Especially when you are prepared to sue: Cirrus is currently locking horns with Wolfson, the Scottish audio chips designer, filing suit over alleged patent infringement.

Wolfson is vigorously defending itself, on the grounds that Cirrus knows the patents in question are invalid. It is sueing Cirrus for "improperly interfering with its Initial Public Offer on the London Stock Exchange and with its customers".

Cirrus last year settled several patent infringement lawsuits, gaining $9m from ATI, $7m from Nvidia and $45m from Western Digital. ®

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