The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said Friday that it didn't have jurisdiction in the case, which is under review by the Bush administration. Analysts said a move last week by Verizon Wireless to pay Broadcom directly for use of the chips could make involvement by the Bush administration less likely because the arrangement indicates that a commercial solution to the controversy could be reached.
While Qualcomm has urged the administration to take action that would enable the company's chips to be used in handsets, Broadcom has asked that the ban of the chips by the U.S. International Trade Commission be upheld.
The ITC ruling bans handsets with infringing Qualcomm chip technology after June 7.
The ban has had little or no impact so far on the supply of cell phones used with high-speed mobile data networks.
The controversy has drawn politicians into the debate. One group of Republican congressmen, led by Reps. Joe Barton of Texas and Cliff Stearns of Florida, has supported Qualcomm in the dispute, and Rep. Charles Rangel and Sen. Charles Schumer, both New York Democrats, oppose the ban.