LONDON Qualcomm Inc. intends to appeal against the Bush administration's decision not to overturn a ruling by the International Trade Commission to ban on imports into the U.S. some 3G handsets.
The decision adds pressure on Qualcomm to reach a settlement of its long-running and bitter patent battle with Broadcom Corp.
Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif.) said in a statement it still maintains that Broadcom's patents are not valid. And it said it is still working on an appeal and stay request with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month, the appeals court said it did not have jurisdiction in the case.
"We will pursue all legal and technical options available to us to minimize the impact of the ITC order on consumers, our customers and the entire wireless industry," Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm's CEO, said in a statement Monday (Aug.6).
However, the appeals court seldom overturns ITC decisions, and there seem to be few other avenues open for Qualcomm, Lyle Vander Schaaf, a former ITC lawyer, told FT.com . "Options for Qualcomm, other than settlement [with Broadcom], are going away," he said.
Qualcomm added that it is working on a technical work-around solution with its customers, mainly Asian handset manufacturers.
"While the acceptability of this new software is subject to challenges by Broadcom, we are confident that it is outside the scope of the ITC order, and we are confident in the technical performance of this software," Qualcomm said.
Qualcomm's response followed a very detailed ruling from U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab in which she said that she will permit an injunction to remain that prevents the import of any wireless handset containing Qualcomm's chipsets into the U.S. market.
The injunction was issued by the ITC in early June, based on its finding that Qualcomm's chipsets illegally infringe on patents held by Broadcom.
Broadcom, for its part, said that it was "gratified" by Schwab's decision, and hopes that Qualcomm's failure to win a veto of the ruling will prompt the company to negotiate a licensing agreement for the technology.
Its statement added the company sees the ruling as the Bush administrations resolve to stay out of patent disputes.
"This decision strengthens the intellectual property rights of all U.S. companies, not just Broadcom," David A. Dull, Broadcom's senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. "And (it) sends a clear message to all those who would seek to escape the consequences of their patent infringement. In upholding the ITC remedy, the administration is also encouraging a market-based solution to patent issues that is in the best interests of American consumers, U.S. companies and global patent protection."