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Qualcomm ordered to pay damages

August 11, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Broadcom Corp. tentatively was awarded $39.3 million in damages plus attorney fees in a patent dispute with rival chip maker Qualcomm Inc. after a federal judge upheld a jury verdict that Qualcomm infringed three patents.

U.S. District Judge James Selna doubled the $19.64-million jury award because the infringement was intentional, he said in a tentative ruling posted Friday on the website of the federal court in Santa Ana. He also granted Broadcom's request for attorney fees and denied Qualcomm's requests to throw out the verdict or to order a new trial.

"There is a spectrum of improper conduct for determining the amount to award," Selna said in the ruling. "That Qualcomm's conduct was not at the most egregious end of the spectrum does not mean than no enhanced damages were due."

Irvine-based Broadcom, best known as a maker of chips for TV set-top boxes, has been battling San Diego-based Qualcomm in federal and state court as well as before the U.S. International Trade Commission as it seeks to grab a bigger share of the market for chips used in so-called third-generation mobile phones that offer fast Internet and multimedia features.

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