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Judge Hears from CEOs of Broadcom, Qualcomm

October 05, 2006|From the Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — The billionaire founders of feuding technology companies Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Inc. failed to reach a settlement Wednesday on a number of lawsuits during a daylong face-off in federal court.

Both sides said no agreement was struck but declined further comment after the closed-door negotiations, citing an order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony J. Battaglia against discussing the matter outside chambers.

Battaglia ordered Broadcom Chairman Henry Samueli and Qualcomm Chairman Irwin Jacobs to appear after determining that only a meeting of principals offered any hope of settling a clutch of lawsuits between the two companies.

Battaglia was expected to issue an order later this week regarding future court dates.

The rival chip makers have 10 suits and countersuits pending in courts from California to Europe over trade and patent issues relating to technologies that power cellphones, Bluetooth devices and wireless Internet equipment.

San Diego-based Qualcomm, the world's second-largest maker of cellphone chips, claims Broadcom is infringing 10 of its patents to create products using knowledge of stolen technical specifications.

An Irvine-based maker of chips for cable TV boxes, Broadcom is now trying to expand into the cellphone market and asserts Qualcomm is infringing 18 of its patents. On Monday, a federal judge refused to bar Broadcom from selling its newest cellphone processor despite legal claims by Qualcomm that the technology was stolen. An Oct. 27 hearing was scheduled concerning a limited injunction.

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