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Qualcomm claims victory in TI suit

TI's claims dismissed

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A US court this week ruled that Texas Instruments has indeed violated the terms of an agreement with Qualcomm concerning the use of the latter's CDMA intellectual property.

However, while Qualcomm may now pursue TI with further legal action to seek financial redress, it is not allowed to revoke the original agreement, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled.

Qualcomm sued TI almost a year ago, alleging the company had breached the Patent Portfolio Agreement (PPA) drawn up between them. It alleged that statements made to financial analysts by TI when it announced a tie-in with Nokia and STMicroelectronics to design CDMA chips broke the PPA.

TI subsequently counter-sued, claiming Qualcomm had violated the same contract. In response, Qualcomm dropped its own action, and merged the case with TI, in order that both claims should be heard by a single court.

The court has now decided to dismiss TI's claims against Qualcomm. It threw out TI's request for a summary judgement that it had not breached Qualcomm's PPA; and even if it had, that Qualcomm had not been harmed by the breach.

Qualcomm's claims have been allowed to stand, and the case will proceed to trial on 16 August 2004. Only then will its request for damages be judged.

Qualcomm was recently sued by Maxim, a billion dollar-a-year supplier of analog integrated circuits and owner of Dallas Semiconductor. Maxim's anti-trust suit accuses the CDMA pioneer of misusing its patents in "maintaining dominance in the market for CDMA technology by improperly seeking to exclude competition". Qualcomm has legal action pending against Maxim. ®

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