Broadcom files complaint against Microtune

Broadcom has alleged that Microtune has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing tuners, power amplifiers and Bluetooth products that infringe two Broadcom patents.

In a complaint filed in the US International Trade Commission (ITC), Broadcom has alleged that Texas-based Microtune has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing tuners, power amplifiers and Bluetooth products that infringe two Broadcom patents.

In its complaint, Broadcom has asked the ITC to institute an investigation regarding Microtune’s alleged infringement of US Patent No. 6,445,039B1, entitled ‘System And Method For ESD Protection’ (the ‘039 patent), and US Patent No. 5,682,379, entitled ‘Wireless Personal Local Area Network’ (the ‘379 patent).

Broadcom’s ITC complaint alleges that Microtune has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing infringing tuner chips, power amplifiers and Bluetooth chips. Accordingly, the complaint seeks an exclusion order to bar the importation into the US of those devices, as well as cable modems, set-top boxes, PCTV cards and Bluetooth headsets that incorporate the chips. In addition, the complaint requests a cease and desist order to bar further sales of infringing products that have already been imported into the United States.

Broadcom expects that the ITC investigation will commence in early April and that the ITC administrative hearing will occur before the end of this year. If the Commission ultimately agrees to enter an Exclusion Order, Microtune’s infringing products would be immediately barred from being imported into the US.

The ITC complaint is the third action brought by Broadcom against Microtune in the past eight months. It follows a lawsuit filed on January 24, 2003, in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, in which Broadcom alleged that Microtune infringed the ‘039 and ‘379 patents as well as US Patent No. 6,359,872, which is also entitled ‘Wireless Personal Local Area Network.’

Also, on July 15, 2002 Broadcom filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging that solid-state RF tuner products made by Microtune infringe a fourth Broadcom patent, US Patent No. 6,377,315, entitled ‘System And Method For Providing A Low Power Receiver Design.’ Trial in that case is scheduled to begin in January 2004.

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