It seems the feds agree with us that a broad, sweeping ban
on little morsels of 3G goodness is just flat-out uncool. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has turned the proverbial hourglass upside down, giving the US International Trade Commission two weeks to justify its partial halt on the import of devices equipped with 3G chipsets manufactured by Qualcomm. The spat originates over a Broadcom claim that Qualcomm's silicon infringes on its patents, and the court system is interested in hearing why the USITC thinks the ban should remain in place while Qualcomm appeals. Intellectual property issues aside, the ITC's cold-turkey ban stands to have a significant impact on carriers, handset manufacturers, and customers (that's us, by the way) as the selection suddenly dries up -- so at the very least, we're hoping everyone affected has a little more time to get their ducks in a row while the patent suit navigates the legal system (please?).