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Qualcomm avoids chip ban in Broadcom suit

Chris Ziegler

Well, if it isn't big ol' Qualcomm, purveyor of fine lawsuits worldwide, getting a taste of its own legal medicine from fellow RF guru Broadcom. Much like Qualcomm's continued offensive against phone manufacturers alleges a cornucopia of patent violations, Broadcom had claimed that Qualcomm gave it the same raw deal, stealing three patents' worth of geeky, low-level stuff we don't really have the time to understand. Long story short, the folks at Broadcom asked the US International Trade Commission to halt sales of chips (and more importantly, the phones containing them) in alleged violation of those patents (ring any bells, Qualcomm?), which a judge this week has ruled against -- though the same judge also ruled that Qualcomm had, in fact, violated one of the three patents brought forth by Broadcom. Unbelievably, the whole ordeal barely scratches the surface of the perpetual legal tussle between the two companies: Broadcom accuses Qualcomm of violating a total of 18 patents, Qualcomm accuses Broadcom on another 10, and needless to say, many of those are tied up in ongoing litigation. Forgive us if we don't follow each and every case, because frankly, until some judge decided to pull phones off shelves, we're not sure we care all that much.

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