Qualcomm Banned from Selling Some 3G Chips

A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that banned Qualcomm from selling chips that infringed on three patents owned by Broadcom Corp. A California jury in 2007 found that Qualcomm didn’t have a right to the patents and the lower court placed an injunction on Qualcomm that stopped it from selling the chips.

“We are gratified that the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Qualcomm’s motion for a stay, leaving in force the injunction against Qualcomm’s infringement issued by the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana,” Broadcom General Counsel David Dull said in a statement.

The chips in question are third-generation (3G) WCDMA chips. This technology provides much higher data speeds to mobile and portable wireless devices than most North American networks allow.

U.S. district Judge James Selna ordered Qualcomm to pay mandatory royalties to Broadcom for the chips it sells during the “sunset period” ending January 31, 2009. After the sunset period ends, Qualcomm will be barred from using the three Broadcom patents.

Qualcomm is currently working on 3G chips that will replace those patented by Broadcom. The new chips are slated to be ready by the end of the current quarter.