Qualcomm Guilty Of Patent Infringement

Wireless technology developer ordered to stop making and selling certain cell phone chips and software that infringe three Broadcom patents.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Wireless technology developer Qualcomm Inc. said Wednesday Calif. Federal District Judge James V. Selna has ordered Qualcomm to stop making and selling certain cell phone chips and software which were found to infringe three Broadcom patents.
Qualcomm said it will be able to sell QChat and 1x/EV-DO products which infringe two Broadcom patents until Jan. 31, 2009 under a limited license, subject to ongoing royalty payments. This license is limited to products sold to customers on or before the jury verdict of May 29, 2007.
Qualcomm is continuing to develop work-arounds for the two disputed patents.
The company was immediately ordered to stop making and selling wireless CDMA products in the U.S. that were found to infringe Broadcom's '686 video encoding patent. Qualcomm said separately Wednesday it has launched new chips and expects to have hardware and software work-arounds commercially available in handsets before the end of the first calendar quarter of 2008.
The new UMTS chipsets are designed to comply with the latest ruling, and are available to device manufacturing customers for shipment into the U.S. Qualcomm's shipments of chipsets for devices intended for international markets weren't affected by the ruling.
The new chipsets are pin- and software-compatible with existing products, allowing handset makers easy replacement.
''Qualcomm has available new UMTS chipsets that offer a seamless transition for impacted device manufacturers who are shipping devices into the U.S. market based on our flagship products,'' said Alex Katouzian, vice president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. ''We are working to comply fully with the court ruling while minimizing the impact on our partners.''
Qualcomm said it will attempt to obtain further relief and clarity from the courts on certain aspects of the injunction, but warned that the inability to do so will likely have an ''immediate, short-term impact'' as handset customers transition to new designs for WCDMA products.
The company also warned of the ruling's potential impact on certain products in the development pipeline for the U.S. market, as well as Qualcomm's longer-term ability to implement work-arounds in time to launch handsets by the January 2009 deadline.
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