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A judge has fine tuned one of the many disputes between Broadcom and Qualcomm, holding that Qualcomm has in fact violated one of Broadcom's patents.

The decision passed down by International Trade Commission judge Charles Bullock wasn't exactly a win-win for Broadcom. He tossed out Broadcom's complaints around two disputed patents, saying Qualcomm did not violate the patents for technology found in cell phones and other wireless gear. Still, Bullock did find that Qualcomm violated parts of another patent around saving battery life in cell phones – patent number 6,714,983.

The two companies have no less than 10 lawsuits and countersuits against each other scattered around worldwide courts. A judge in San Diego last week spanked the founders of both firms and told them to find a way to get along. Not surprisingly, no deal between the rivals has been reached.

The recent decision around Qualcomm's patent violation - a fact the company disputes - must still go before a full ITC panel before action is taken. Broadcom expects things to go its way.

"The commission is expected to issue a permanent exclusion order barring the importation into the United States of infringing Qualcomm chips, as well as a cease and desist order barring further sales of infringing products that have already been imported into the United States by Qualcomm," Broadcom said.

Qualcomm has already started to explore designs that will bypass the need for Broadcom's technology.

According to Qualcomm, judge Bullock recommended that third parties which have already built the technology in question into their products should not face "downstream remedies." Lucky for them. ®

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