Feeds

Qualcomm import ban lifted

But not for er, Qualcomm

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The US Court of Appeals has ruled that the International Trade Commission can't actually ban third parties from importing kit containing Qualcomm chips, even if they breach a Broadcom patent.

In June last year the ITC issued a ban which prevented third parties from importing devices containing specific Qualcomm chips, on the basis that those chips infringe a Broadcom patent. But the companies importing the chips were not named in the action brought by Broadcom - and therefore, the Court of Appeals has decided, they can't be prevented from shipping them into the US.

However, Qualcomm's attempts to manoeuvre its chips from under the patent's cover failed, so it won't be able to ship any of its own chips into the country.

Qualcomm reckons it's redesigned its products to work around the Broadcom patent anyway, so the lifting of the ban won't have a big impact on day-to-day operations - it only represents another round in the ongoing struggle between the two companies.

The ruling (pdf) also gives a fascinating look at the English language, and how much money can depend on a single word or phrase. The Court of Appeal decided that the ITC had overstepped the mark on the basis of a clause that states under what conditions a third party can be banned from importing goods, and another that claims no clause shall be deemed superfluous - thus a ruling against Qualcomm can't be applied to third parties, as that would render the specific clause redundant. (Still with us?)

Given that the whole patent cases depends on the definition of the word "different", in the context "[A] second wireless communication different from the first", it's hardly surprising that the rulings are becoming increasingly semantic-dependent.

Qualcomm's assertion that the GSM specification is a "single document", for the purposes of prior-art, was undermined by each specification making up the standard having its own page numbering and cover picture. The ruling also found that while Qualcomm might have been guilty of encouraging others to break the patent, by providing documentation and technical support, this did not constitute "evidence of culpable conduct, directed to encouraging another’s infringement".

Basically this is one more round in a battle between the two companies, of more interest to English students than anyone using a mobile phone, but each battle surely brings the end of the war a little closer. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.