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Broadcom, Qualcomm settle suit

March 15, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Broadcom Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. settled a patent dispute that was scheduled to go to trial next week, closing another front in the battle over the market for computer chips used in mobile phones.

The agreement ends a challenge Qualcomm filed against Broadcom in 2005 in federal court in San Diego, where Qualcomm is based.

Details weren't revealed in the court documents that announced the settlement Wednesday. Neither Bill Blanning, spokesman for Irvine-based Broadcom, nor Qualcomm spokeswoman Emily Kilpatrick immediately returned calls for comment.

The two companies still have other cases pending in California, plus disputes in South Korea and Europe. Broadcom wants to make more chips for mobile phones and accuses Qualcomm of using patents to block it. Qualcomm says Broadcom wants to use the technology without paying for it.

The settlement lets the two sides focus on a hearing next week before the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, where Broadcom is seeking an order that would block the importation of certain mobile-phone handsets that use Qualcomm chips. Qualcomm was found to infringe a Broadcom patent in that case, and the trade agency must determine the appropriate remedy.

In the matter that was settled Wednesday, Qualcomm accused Broadcom of infringing two patents related to power control in a mobile phone. Last month, the companies dropped claims against each other, resulting in the dismissal of two other patent trials.

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