Feeds

US bans import of Qualcomm 3G phones

Comeuppance from Broadcom

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.