updated 11:35 am EDT, Wed October 15, 2008
Ban on QComm 3G Overturned
A ban on Qualcomm chipsets has been partly overturned today by a US appeals court. A federal judge has ruled that the International Trade Commission's halt on imports of cellphones with certain Qualcomm 3G cellular chips overstepped the organization's authority by banning parts that weren't directly named in Broadcom's patent violation lawsuit against Qualcomm. Broadcom hasn't responded to the decision.
The lifted restriction gives Qualcomm further if potentially temporary relief from the ban, which had threatened in some cases to cut off a large portion of phone sales to primarily CDMA carriers in the US. Although insistent on the claims in its patent suit, Broadcom has cleared some phones itself through a special licensing system that ensures some cellphones get through the ban while still supplying the royalties the company demands.
Broadcom has nonetheless launched another lawsuit against Qualcomm as of last week that accuses the chipmaker of misusing patents by engineering chips to collect twice as much in royalties as is necessary.