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Broadcom wins Qualcomm patent trial

From Bloomberg News

Broadcom Corp. didn’t infringe two patents owned by rival Qualcomm Inc., a federal jury found Friday in the first trial of the companies’ dispute over chips used in computers, DVD players and mobile phones.

The patents, for technology to compress high-definition video, are unenforceable because Qualcomm withheld information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, jurors in San Diego said after six hours of deliberations. But they agreed with Qualcomm that the patents were valid.

Qualcomm, the world’s second-biggest maker of mobile- phone chips, was asking for $8.3 million in cash compensation.

The patent lawsuit was one of at least nine between the two companies in the U.S.

Broadcom of Irvine and Qualcomm of San Diego are battling over computer chip technology in courts and before government agencies in California, New Jersey, Washington, South Korea and Belgium.

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If Qualcomm had won the San Diego case, it could have asked U.S. District Judge Rudi Brewster to issue a court order to block Broadcom from using the patented technology. Broadcom had said in court documents that Qualcomm wasn’t entitled to such an order.

The trial started Jan. 9. The panel of five men and four women began weighing Qualcomm’s claims Friday.

Broadcom argued that its chips used different innovations and that Qualcomm’s patents were invalid.

Qualcomm said its patents covered technology needed to comply with an industry standard that allows for transmission of high-quality video over wireless, satellite and Internet connections. Broadcom’s chips are used in television set-top boxes, mobile phones and high-definition DVD players.

Qualcomm participated in the group that set the standard, and all members had to agree to license their patents on fair and reasonable terms. As a result, Broadcom contended, Qualcomm didn’t have a right to demand a court order and was entitled only to future royalties based on the rate established by the jury for past infringement.

Qualcomm is boosting spending to more than $200 million to litigate patent and other court cases this fiscal year, more than double the amount it spent two years ago, President Steven Altman told analysts Wednesday.


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