Feeds

Judge doubles Qualcomm patent damages

Must now pay Broadcom $39m

Boost IT visibility and business value

A US judge has doubled the damages that mobile phone chip company Qualcomm must pay to rival Broadcom in a patent dispute to over $39m.

The news is the latest in a string of setbacks for Qualcomm. Its top lawyer, general counsel Lou Lupin, has resigned, and just days ago the administration of US president George Bush refused to overturn an import ban on phones carrying Qualcomm chips.

In late May a jury in the US District Court for the Central District of California said Qualcomm had infringed three Broadcom patents and should pay the firm $19.6m in damages. Judge James Selna has now said the award should be doubled.

The jury had found that Qualcomm's infringement of patents was wilful, meaning the court can treble the damages awarded. "After a finding of wilfulness, the primary concern in determining whether and to what extent to increase damages is the egregiousness of the infringer's conduct based on the totality of the circumstance," said Selna in his ruling.

Selna said the court had to consider nine factors when assessing Qualcomm's behaviour, and that four of those favoured Qualcomm. He said there was no evidence that the company deliberately copied Broadcom patents or products.

Selna said, though, that the jury had found that Qualcomm knew about the Broadcom patents it had infringed, and that it engaged in its infringing behaviour knowing that it was infringing the patent and without believing that the patent was invalid.

He also said the fact that Qualcomm continued its infringing behaviour throughout the long two year case meant that damages should be increased.

"The court finds that, on balance, the totality of the circumstances merits an increase in the damages award," said Selna. "Doubling the damages rather than tripling is appropriate, because though Qualcomm's conduct was wilful, it was not so egregious as to warrant trebling of the damages."

Broadcom was also awarded its legal costs by the court, a sum it has yet to calculate. "The court has found that attorneys' fees are appropriate for the same reasons as the damages enhancement," said Selna. "Broadcom has demonstrated that this case is exceptional by clear and convincing evidence."

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?