The Broadcom offices are flowing with bubbly today, while Qualcomm woke up with a bad hangover. A judge with the International Trade Commission ruled that Qualcomm infringed on a Broadcom patent for cellular baseband processor chips. Broadcom says the judge’s decision could lead to those infringing chips being barred from importation into the United States and a possible cease and desist order on further sales of said chips. Qualcomm begs to differ.
This is just one decision in a slew of complaints and court cases against Qualcomm by its mobile peers like Nokia and Broadcom. Qualcomm, of course, has responded with its own complaints and suits. While Qualcomm likes to position these guys as the anti-Qualcomm league, the industry seems to be levelling its collective anger at the San Diego-based company for its high royalty-rates. Combined with disgruntled carriers in markets like India and Brazil, this could be a bad sign for the company.
Maybe the best part of the announcement is the company’s dueling press releases. Broadcom:
“Qualcomm’s widespread patent infringement is particularly egregious and ironic in light of its historic practice of seeking unfair compensation for its own patent portfolio, violating multiple promises it made to international standards bodies to charge fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory royalty rates for Qualcomm technology incorporated into the standards,” says David A. Dull, Broadcom’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
Qualcomm responds by obscuring the event:
“The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the Broadcom International Trade Commission (ITC) matter has determined that Qualcomm has not infringed two of the three patents asserted by Broadcom.”
Uh, two out of three still means there’s one guys.