updated 03:25 pm EDT, Fri July 20, 2007
3G Chip Ban Held in Appeal
An International Trade Commission ban against many of Qualcomm's 3G wireless chips reaching the US will stay on track, the US federal Court of Appeals ruled today. Citing a lack of authority to consider the decision, the court said it Qualcomm would have to hold for a possible reversal of the ban by President Bush by August 6th before any form of appeal could last in court. A second appeal is certain if the ITC's ban holds after the presidential review, Qualcomm said. The ban follows a patent dispute between Qualcomm and rival Broadcom which accused the former of treading on patents relating to power-saving measures in cellphones and other hardware with EVDO Internet access.
The block on imports of new hardware has created problems for multiple US cellular providers, many of whom sell at least a few cellphones that use Qualcomm's patents. Verizon in particular is the most affected and has already negotiated a licensing deal with Broadcom that would let devices intended for the carrier through to the US in exchange for a flat fee for every unit that reaches the country. Motorola, Samsung, and Sprint have so far only endorsed Qualcomm and haven't announced licensing deals.