Feeds

Judge doubles Qualcomm patent damages

Must now pay Broadcom $39m

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.