Broadcom Scores Patent Victory Over Qualcomm

Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, has scored a significant victory in its ongoing patent infringement case against announced Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM).  On September 24, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a unanimous jury verdict that Qualcomm cellular chips and software infringe two Broadcom® patents, and upheld the injunction entered by the district court on those two patents. The appeals court also rejected Qualcomm’s request for a new trial. The court ruled that a third patent was invalid.  Specifically, the Federal Circuit stated:

Because the district court erred in its construction of claim 3 of the ‘686 patent, we reverse the jury’s determination of infringement of that patent and conclude that claim 3, as properly construed, is invalid. Because the district court did not err in construing the claims of the ‘317 patent, and because substantial evidence supports the jury’s determinations of infringement and validity of the ‘317 and ‘010 patents, we affirm the judgment of infringement of the ‘317 and ‘010 patents, and the injunction as it pertains to those patents.

For the Courts decision see: Broadcom Corp. v. Qualcomm, Inc. (Fed. Cir., September 24, 2008.

“The appeals court’s decision is a major victory for Broadcom in our ongoing effort to protect our intellectual property,” said David Rosmann, Broadcom Vice President, Intellectual Property Litigation.

Broadcom filed the infringement case in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., in May 2005. On May 29, 2007, a unanimous jury returned a verdict finding that Qualcomm infringed three Broadcom patents and awarded past damages to Broadcom. Late last year, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna issued an injunction against Qualcomm designed to stop the company from continuing its infringement of the three Broadcom patents.

In August 2008, Judge Selna found Qualcomm in contempt of his injunction by, among other things, failing to pay royalties to Broadcom on infringing QChat® products. Citing the “egregiousness” of Qualcomm’s conduct, the court ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom the gross profits Qualcomm has earned on its infringing QChat® products. Judge Selna further ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom’s attorneys fees in connection with the contempt proceedings.

The two patents that the appeals court upheld are U.S. Patent No. 5,657,317, which the jury found infringed by Qualcomm’s EV-DO technology, and U.S. Patent No. 6,389,010, which the jury found infringed by Qualcomm’s QChat chips and software. The third patent, held invalid, is U.S. Patent No. 6,847,686, which relates to video processing technology.

The Santa Ana case is one of several cases in which Broadcom continues to pursue claims against Qualcomm regarding patent infringement, anti-competitive behavior and fraud issues. Qualcomm has either lost or withdrawn all of the patent infringement cases it brought against Broadcom.

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