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Johanne Torres[May 19, 2005]

Broadcom to File Suit Against Qualcomm for Patent Infringement


Broadcom Corporation, a wired and wireless broadband semiconductor provider, announced today that it began federal litigation against Qualcomm Incorporated for alleged patent infringement. Broadcom claims that San Diego, CA-based Qualcomm infringes the company’s patents related to wired and wireless communications and multimedia processing technologies.

"Broadcom was an early pioneer in a broad range of wired and wireless communications and multimedia technologies, and has enabled the convergence of digital video, digital audio, WiFi, Bluetooth, storage, VoIP, and adaptive coding technologies in many markets, including advanced, multi-function cellular products and services," said Scott McGregor, Broadcom's president and CEO. "We believe that Qualcomm's current and next generation cellular baseband and radio frequency (RF) product lines infringe a number of our patents."

Broadcom says that it initiated the proceedings at a time when the cellular phone industry is transitioning from providing voice-only services to offering customers an array of multimedia services including a wide variety of audio, video, data and communications capabilities. The company explained that among the multimedia features now being offered to consumers are TV, MP3 capabilities, personal video recording (PVR), VoIP and the push-to-talk feature, which enables users to use their cellular phones like walkie-talkies. Broadcom says it positioned at the vanguard of this transition, with a strong intellectual property portfolio in such technologies as Bluetooth, WiFi, cellular baseband, multimedia processing, VoIP, storage and security.

"The communications industry is in the early stages of converging GSM and CDMA networks into a unified 3G network, which has the potential to enable more efficient voice and new high bandwidth data services that will drive a new generation of portable devices," McGregor added. "Over more than a decade, Broadcom has assembled a portfolio of communications and related technologies unmatched in its breadth and depth, presenting us with compelling opportunities as we help drive the convergence of various technologies and features into next generation smart cell phones."

With the filing of the two complaints yesterday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Broadcom seeks unspecified monetary damages from Qualcomm as well as a permanent injunction barring the manufacture and sale of Qualcomm's core suite of baseband and RF integrated circuits, including its multimedia, enhanced and convergence platform chips and its QChat VoIP technology for cellular phones, which Broadcom alleges infringe its patents.

In addition to the complaints explained above, today Broadcom also filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Qualcomm has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing integrated circuits and other products that infringe five Broadcom patents. The company requested that the ITC institute an investigation into Qualcomm's infringing imports and ultimately issue an Exclusion Order to bar importation of those Qualcomm devices into the United States. Broadcom also seeks a Cease and Desist Order to bar further sales of infringing Qualcomm products that have already been imported.

Broadcom expects that the ITC investigation will commence in late June and that the case will be tried early next year.

Broadcom Corporation

Qualcomm Incorporated


Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

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