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9/25/2008
06:26 PM
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U.S. Court Upholds Two Broadcom Patents In Qualcomm Case

The patents are related to chips used in phones with high-speed Web links.

A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Wednesday upheld a jury verdict that Qualcomm had infringed on two out of three Broadcom patents.

In the same ruling, the court upheld Qualcomm's position in regard to a third patent. A jury found in May last year that Qualcomm had infringed three Broadcom patents and it awarded $19.64 million in damages for past infringement in the case.

Broadcom had filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., two years before. The patents are related to chips used in phones with high-speed Web links.

"The appeals court's decision is a major victory for Broadcom in our ongoing effort to protect our intellectual property," said David Rosmann, Broadcom VP, intellectual property litigation, in a statement.

The Court of Appeals decision put to rest some of the most important -- and contentious -- litigation between the two companies since Broadcom filed patent infringement litigation against Qualcomm in May 2005.

Now that Broadcom has won an important cell phone patent battle against Qualcomm, it may be time for the two companies to bury the hatchet, settle their differences, and go about their respective differences.

That's what happened in July when Qualcomm and Nokia ended their bitter patent battles. Nokia won the legal battle but Qualcomm won the money war as the handset manufacturer agreed to pay substantial royalty payments to Qualcomm for 15 years.

Qualcomm's Alex Rogers, a senior VP and legal counsel, told the Reuters news service that his company was continuing "settlement discussions" with Broadcom, although he indicated there was nothing substantial to report on that front now. At the end of many patent cases, the two sides usually sit down and hammer out some sort of settlement arrangement.

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