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Qualcomm import ban lifted

14 сентября 2007

Group of operators, vendors win appeal; decision does not cover Qualcomm's own imports, but chip maker vows to fight on.

The U.S. court of appeals for the federal circuit Wednesday granted a stay on the International Trade Commission's import ban on Qualcomm-equipped mobile handsets.

The ban, imposed in June following a patent dispute between Qualcomm and rival Broadcom, effectively prohibited the import of new CDMA devices into the U.S.

The appeal was launched by a number of third parties that manufacture, import and sell mobile phones powered by the Qualcomm chipsets the ITC had ruled infringed Broadcom patents.

Kyocera Wireless, Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo Fisher, AT&T, T-Mobile, LG and MobileComm won their case by arguing that the ITC lacked the authority to ban products imported by companies other than Qualcomm.

The stay applies only to the above companies that filed motions in the case. It does not affect Qualcomm's own imports.
"We are pleased that the court of appeals recognised the undeserved harm to parties who were not named in the lawsuit, and that our customers will continue to be able to introduce new products into the U.S. marketplace during the appeals process," said Alex H. Rogers, senior vice president and legal counsel, Qualcomm, in a statement.

Wednesday's victory is a rare one for the U.S. chip maker in its ongoing dispute with Broadcom.

The initial ban on products carrying Qualcomm chips was imposed in June, after Qualcomm was ordered to pay $19.6 million in damages for infringing Broadcom's patents.

At the time Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs highlighted that the decision would affect third parties, such as T-Mobile and AT&T, who were not able to put their case forward during the infringement proceedings.

In August Qualcomm looked to the White House to veto the ITC's decision, but it was upheld by the Bush administration, triggering appeals from both Qualcomm and the third parties.

In a related case, shortly afterwards the federal court ruled that Qualcomm would not be permitted to enforce two of its own patents relating to video transmitting technology, that it alleged had been infringed upon by Broadcom. This decision came after Qualcomm was judged to have concealed the patents from the standards-setting body, the Joint Video Team.

Amidst these setbacks, Qualcomm's legal counsel Lou Lupin resigned in August.

Qualcomm said it will continue to push for a reversal of the original ruling in the patent infringement case filed by Broadcom.

Источник: Total Telecom

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