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Qualcomm's Partners Get Reprieve From ITC

Qualcomm itself still may not import its own chips into the U.S., but its partners can. This is good news for several handset manufacturers and network operators.
Qualcomm itself still may not import its own chips into the U.S., but its partners can. This is good news for several handset manufacturers and network operators.Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo, AT&T and T-Mobile can all breathe a sigh of relief. They all now have permission to bring in handsets that they designed with the banned Qualcomm chips. They can thank the ITC for issuing a stay of the chip ban against Qualcomm, which allows third-parties to move forward with their plans.

According to Broadcom, "The Federal Circuit did grant a stay pending appeal as to other parties whose cellular phones containing Qualcomm's infringing chips had been excluded." In the meantime, though, "The Appeals Court's ruling today does not affect the ITC's Cease and Desist Order barring Qualcomm from bringing infringing chips into the U.S., or engaging in certain activities related to the infringing chips, affecting its ability to provide support to its customers for such essential services as designing next-generation mobile handsets, or supporting the testing and debugging of handsets. The infringing products include baseband processor chips that comprise Qualcomm's core suite of enhanced multimedia and convergence handset platforms."

The patent case has been a long and winding road for Broadcom and Qualcomm. While each company touts this stay as a win, the real winners are Qualcomm's partners. Afterall, they likely spent a good deal of time and money designing phones with the Qualcomm chips in question as integral components. The end result of this stay is that they can resume plans to manufacture, import and market those devices while the appeal process moves forward.

Editor's Choice
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author