Qualcomm strikes back

Qualcomm has filed suit against Broadcom Corporation in a federal court in San Diego for alleged infringement of seven Qualcomm patents.


Qualcomm, a developer of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and other wireless technologies, has filed suit against Broadcom Corporation in federal court in San Diego for infringement of seven Qualcomm patents.



Qualcomm’s lawsuit asserts infringement of patents that are “essential” to the manufacture or use of equipment that complies with the GSM, GPRS and EDGE cellular standards (GSM Standards) and to certain interoperability standards for wireless local area networks popularly known as Wi-Fi.



Qualcomm said in a statement that patents that are “essential” to a standard are those that must necessarily be infringed to comply with the requirements of the standard. Qualcomm’s complaint states that Broadcom is infringing six of the patents by the manufacture and sale of integrated circuits for use in GSM Standards handsets and is infringing the remaining patent by the manufacture and sale of semiconductors for Wi-Fi devices. QUALCOMM is seeking an injunction against Broadcom’s continued manufacture and sale of these products as well as monetary damages.



Second-generation GSM systems rely on a form of technology known as time division multiple access (TDMA). For third-generation (3G) services, many GSM wireless carriers have chosen to deploy a form of CDMA, called WCDMA.



However, even before the 3G transition, GSM systems have been adding data and other capabilities, via GPRS and EDGE technologies, with advancements such as higher data transmission rates, increased spectral efficiency/greater capacity, resistance to interference, access to packet switched networks and multimedia distribution. As a result, these evolving GSM Standards now incorporate a number of Qualcomm’s patented inventions, originally developed to enable such capabilities in CDMA networks.



The patents in this suit cover some of Qualcomm’s innovations that have now been incorporated into the GSM Standards through GPRS and EDGE. Qualcomm asserts that Broadcom’s integrated circuits for GSM Standards-compliant devices unavoidably infringe Qualcomm’s patents essential to the GSM Standards.


“Those who believe that Qualcomm’s intellectual property portfolio is limited to CDMA have overlooked the breadth of our business activity and the extent of our research and development from which our intellectual property is generated,” said Louis M. Lupin, senior vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm. “Our intellectual property rights are broad, and we will not hesitate to assert their full breadth when appropriate.”