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Qualcomm ‘Litigation Abuse’ Cited

Posted Aug 7, 2007 2:16 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A judge has ruled that Qualcomm Inc. waived its rights to enforce two patents for video compression and engaged in "aggravated litigation abuse."

The judge said Qualcomm had deliberately concealed patents from a standard-setting body and failed to turn over thousands of discovery documents in its patent infringement suit against rival semiconductor-maker Broadcom, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. Broadcom won the case at trial.

The judge ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom’s legal fees and costs. Qualcomm said in a statement it “acknowledges the seriousness of the court's findings and reiterates its previous apology to the court for the errors made during discovery and for the inaccurate testimony of certain of its witnesses.” However, Qualcomm said it intends to appeal the finding about concealing patents from the standards body.

Broadcom had claimed in May that Qualcomm failed to turn over more than 35,000 discovery documents in the case, and the trial would not have been needed if it had done so. (See this ABAJournal.com post for details.)

Broadcom scored another legal victory when the Bush administration said it would let stand a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission banning the import of cell phones using Qualcomm microchips, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports in a separate article. The ban followed the court’s earlier finding that Qualcomm infringed Broadcom patents.

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