Broadcom Uses Patent Loophole To Ban Qualcomm-Powered Phones

from the two-shots dept

Just last week we noted that patent holders were increasingly getting two cracks at companies they felt were infringing by going to the US International Trade Commission and asking them to ban the import of products that infringe on their patents. The US ITC has no obligation (as the courts do) to look at the obviousness of the patents or whether or not the patents are valid. They can just ban the importation of the patent entirely. Effectively it gives companies two separate routes to beat up on those they accuse of infringing — with this loophole method having even less recourse than the courts. So, it should come as no surprise that while Qualcomm and Broadcom have been fighting it out in the courts over patent infringement, the US ITC has now banned the import of any new models of phones using Qualcomm’s 3G chips. In other words, Qualcomm is going to be forced to settle. This is seen as a “compromise” because the ITC resisted banning existing phones with 3G technology — but all that really means is that Qualcomm has a slightly longer window of time to reach a settlement with Broadcom.

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Comments on “Broadcom Uses Patent Loophole To Ban Qualcomm-Powered Phones”

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Shun says:

ITC has no legitimacy?

It’s not Broadcom’s fault that the ITC exists. They are taking advantage of an existing regulator to attack a competitor. Also, they are using the ruling to put themselves in a better bargaining position vis-a-vis licensing their tech to Qualcomm. In the end, it is in neither companies’ interest to deadlock. Qualcomm needs to ship chips, and Broadcom wants royalties. If the Patent Office rules that the tech is property of Broadcom, shouldn’t they get their cut? If you feel that Broadcom doesn’t deserve it, then I challenge you to create for free. I am sure you are noble enough to understand that getting paid to invent is petty and greedy. Ideas are the property of all of humankind, etc. I and my free-rider colleagues thank you.

anon says:

it should be regulated

It’s pretty sad that they have loopholes like this. It should be regulated by the patent office just like it has always been. I hate to see technology get hit by ghetto loop holes that hurt companies. In the end if Qualcomm owes them money so be it but patch up this watery hole and move on without the money rapage.

R Kent says:

Who wrote this article? Qualcomm?

They forgot to mention that the courts already ruled that the patent is valid and that qualcomm infringed. They forget to say that Broadcom also won a case in Santa Ana that found Qualcomm WILLFULL infringement on three Broadcom
patents (Broadcom will also nailed them on these patents shortly). Also, they forget to mention that qualcomm illegally kept 35,000 e-mails in their Santa Ana court loss against Broadcom and now will have to pay Broadcom legal costs.
Finally, they forget to mention that qualcomm is also in court for illegally manipulating the standard setting organizations. They fill the standard setting organizations with people on their payroll, but don’t disclose it.
Qualcomm’s royalties as we know it are history.

3G cell phone user says:

Want new cell phones

It seems that the biggest loser is 3G cell phone users. If we have no new cell phones to use in future, can Broadcom’s patent produce 3G cell phones for us? I don’t care if Broadcom is using this lawsuit for unfair competition. I just want to have new cell phones when my current cell phone contract ends next year. B company, please don’t be selfish.

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