WASHINGTON -- Oct 10, 2006 -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, announced that a United States International Trade Commission (ITC) judge ruled today that Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) infringes five claims of a Broadcom® patent. The Commission is expected to issue a permanent exclusion order barring the importation into the United States of infringing Qualcomm® chips, as well as a cease and desist order barring further sales of infringing products that have already been imported into the United States by Qualcomm.
Broadcom asserted infringement of three Broadcom patents by Qualcomm. ITC Administrative Law Judge Charles E. Bullock found all three patents to be valid and one, U.S. Patent No. 6,714,983, to be infringed. The infringing products include cellular baseband processor chips that comprise Qualcomm's core suite of enhanced multimedia and convergence handset platforms.
In his ruling, the judge found that Qualcomm has violated U.S. trade laws by importing chips and chipsets that infringe Broadcom's patent.
"We are gratified that Judge Bullock recognized the validity of our claims with a ruling that helps us protect our valuable intellectual property and sends a very strong message to the industry that Qualcomm is not exempt from the rules," said David A. Dull, Broadcom's Senior Vice President and General Counsel. "This ruling highlights just a small part of Qualcomm's ongoing and widespread infringement of Broadcom's intellectual property. We believe Qualcomm infringes at least 15 additional Broadcom patents across its entire product line, and we expect to take those cases to trial over the next twelve months. Today's ruling validates our decision to challenge Qualcomm's illegal conduct, and will invigorate us to aggressively enforce our rights going forward."
Mr. Dull continued, "Unfortunately, we have been forced to seek redress in the ITC and the courts because Qualcomm has repeatedly refused to recognize the value of Broadcom's patented technology. Qualcomm's widespread patent infringement is particularly egregious and ironic in light of its historic practice of seeking unfair compensation for its own patent portfolio, violating multiple promises it made to international standards bodies to charge fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory royalty rates for Qualcomm technology incorporated into the standards."
In the next step of the ITC process, the judge's Initial Determination will be forwarded to the full Commission, comprised of six members. The Commission is scheduled to make its Final Determination by February 9, 2007. Broadcom will seek Commission review of the judge's infringement determinations on the other two patents and his recommendation that the bar on importation not extend to cellular handsets that contain infringing Qualcomm chips.
The ITC action was the first of several patent disputes between the companies to go to trial. In March 2007, the U.S. District Court in San Diego, Calif. is scheduled to try Broadcom's claims that Qualcomm infringes two patents relating to Bluetooth® technology. Then in May 2007 the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif. is scheduled to try Broadcom's claims that Qualcomm infringes five additional patents relating to cellular technology. Additionally, Qualcomm and Broadcom have other, later-filed patent disputes pending in U.S. District Court in San Diego that are expected to be tried in 2007. Following conclusion of the ITC proceeding, Broadcom will also litigate the three ITC patents in the Santa Ana court.
To date, Broadcom has alleged that Qualcomm's baseband, RF and power management products infringe 18 different Broadcom patents.
Separately, in other actions against Qualcomm, Broadcom has joined five other leading mobile wireless technology companies in filing complaints with the European Commission alleging that Qualcomm has engaged in anticompetitive conduct in the licensing of its patents and the sale of its chipsets for mobile wireless devices and systems. The six companies assert that Qualcomm is violating EU competition law and failing to meet the commitments it made to international standards bodies to license its technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Broadcom is also appealing last month's dismissal without prejudice of its federal antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm. The dismissal, by a U.S. District Judge in New Jersey, was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on September 29.
Mr. Dull concluded, "In all of these actions, we are simply asking that Qualcomm compete fairly in the global cellular chip and handset markets and recognize the substantial value of Broadcom's own large and fast growing intellectual property portfolio. We believe strongly that companies that play fairly and provide the best technologies will be favored by customers over the long term -- with consumers being the ultimate winners as choices expand for better, cheaper and more feature-rich cell phones and mobile communication devices."
The ITC judge's ruling and the other proceedings instituted by Broadcom against Qualcomm come at a time when the cellular phone industry is transitioning from providing voice-only services to offering customers an array of multimedia services, including a wide variety of audio, video, data and communications capabilities. Among the multimedia features now offered to consumers are TV, MP3 capabilities, personal video recording (PVR), VoIP, and the push-to-talk feature, which enables users to use their cellular phones like walkie-talkies. Consumer demand for these features is driving the next upgrade cycle in networks and cellular phones.
Broadcom is in the vanguard of the transition to feature-rich cellular phones. Its products incorporate many innovative technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi®, third generation (3G) cellular baseband, multimedia processing, VoIP and security, all protected by an extensive intellectual property portfolio. Broadcom currently has over 1,750 issued U.S. patents and over 5,600 patent applications pending worldwide.
Broadcom Corporation is a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Our products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. Broadcom provides the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.
Broadcom, one of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies with annual revenue of more than $2.5 billion, is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at www.broadcom.com.