Qualcomm slapped with contempt in court

A federal judge found Qualcomm in contempt of an injunction that prevents the company from selling chips that rely on certain Broadcom technology.


A US federal judge found Qualcomm in contempt of an injunction issued last year preventing the chip maker from selling certain products that rely on patented Broadcom technology.

The US District Court for the Central District of California ruled Thursday that Qualcomm must pay royalties to Broadcom for revenue earned from QChat version 3.0, one of the products Qualcomm was ordered to stop selling.

The court also ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom gross profits from the service and support of QChat, which is push-to-talk software, since the ruling, Qualcomm said.

In addition, the court found that Qualcomm violated the injunction by continuing to service and support certain WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) products that were made and sold between the date of the trial verdict last May and the date of the injunction in December. Qualcomm maintains that it's a matter of interpreting the injunction and said it plans to appeal the decision.

The court has temporarily blocked public access to its order while it considers a request to keep portions of it confidential.

In a statement, Broadcom said Qualcomm's actions show a lack of respect for competitors' intellectual property and for the courts.

Qualcomm has been fighting a losing battle against Broadcom, and this isn't the first time it has been cited for trying to skirt the law. Earlier this year, a judge asked the State Bar of California to investigate Qualcomm lawyers for a possible ethics violation after the judge found that Qualcomm had intentionally withheld tens of thousands of important documents in a separate case involving Broadcom.

In a related case, the US International Trade Commission ruled last year that Qualcomm could no longer import into the US certain chips that infringed Broadcom patents.

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