Feeds

US bans import of Qualcomm 3G phones

Comeuppance from Broadcom

The Power of One Infographic

The US International Trade Commission has barred the import of new cell phones that use chips made Qualcomm, following a legal determination they infringe a patent held by competitor Broadcom.

The ban includes the import of Qualcomm chips and chipsets, but doesn't affect handsets and PDAs on the market prior to today's ruling, according to a news release issued by the federal agency. The chips at issue are used in a variety of 3G phones such as those operating on networks run by Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T.

The White House now has 60 days to approve or overturn the ruling, according to the Associated Press. Qualcomm could settle the patent dispute with Broadcom or could appeal today's decision to a federal court.

Qualcomm representatives didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

If lawyers among Qualcomm's intellectual property ranks have glum faces there is good reason. Most recently, a federal jury awarded Broadcom $19.6m after finding Qualcomm chip designs infringed three patents. That judgment could be tripled to almost $60m under patent rules that provide for stiff penalties when the infringement is deemed to be willful. Not to be outdone, Nokia, Texas Instruments, NEC, Panasonic and Ericsson have all filed complaints with the European Commission, accusing Qualcomm of violating competition law through its licensing practices.

Today's action represents a compromise between remedies proposed by Broadcom, which had sought a ban on all devices that use the infringing chips regardless of when they were put on the market, and an ITC administrative judge, who favored blocking only the chips and chipsets themselves.

In taking the middle ground, a majority of the commission determined that barring only new phones would reduce burdens that otherwise would have been imposed on third parties while still "affording meaningful relief to the patent holder".

The ban stems from a June, 2005 investigation the ITC commenced in response to a complaint Broadcom filed alleging a patent it held for mobile device capabilities and power management was infringed by Qualcomm. In October 2006, an administrative law judge ruled in favor of Broadcom and recommended an import ban of Qualcomm chips into the US. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.