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Qualcomm, Broadcom leaders in court for settlement talks

Qualcomm, Broadcom leaders in court for settlement talks

Two billionaire technology pioneers faced off in federal court chambers Wednesday for unusually high-level negotiations to settle a feud between Broadcom Inc. and Qualcomm Inc.
Broadcom Chairman Henry Samueli and Qualcomm Chairman Irwin Jacobs were ordered to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony J. Battaglia, who ruled last month that the conference offered the only hope of settling a clutch of lawsuits over wireless technology patents.
The closed conference between the two parties was expected to last most of the day.
Both Samueli and Jacobs looked relaxed but declined to comment about the negotiations as they waited outside Battaglia's chambers. Each was surrounded by his own posse of dark-suited attorneys.
"You'll just have to see if I'm smiling or frowning when we come out," Samueli said.
The rival chip makers have 10 suits and countersuits pending in courts from California to Europe over trade and patent issues relating to technologies that power cell phones, Bluetooth devices and wireless Internet equipment.
Lawyers for both companies said they did not anticipate reaching a settlement Wednesday covering all the cases but would not rule out the possibility.
"It involves complicated licensing issues so I think the most you could expect was something like an agreement in principle," said Bill Sailer, senior vice president and legal counsel for Qualcomm.
San Diego-based Qualcomm, the world's second-largest maker of cell phone chips, holds patents on technology used in high-speed cellular telephone networks and licenses its use.
Broadcom, based in Irvine, contends that Qualcomm's licensing practices are unfair and violate antitrust laws. Broadcom, which has in the past focused on chips for TV cable boxes, is now trying to expand into the cell phone market and asserts Qualcomm is infringing on 18 of its patents.
"If Qualcomm decides they can play by the rules then we can reach an agreement," said David Rosmann, vice president of intellectual property for Broadcom.
Qualcomm claims Broadcom is infringing on 10 of its patents to create products using knowledge of stolen technical specifications.
"We have been developing the core wireless technology that has now become the global standard for 21 years," Sailer said. "Broadcom just wants to get in our way so they can get into the business."
On Monday, a federal judge refused to bar Broadcom from selling its newest cell phone processor despite legal claims by Qualcomm that the technology was stolen. An Oct. 27 hearing was scheduled concerning a limited injunction.
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On the Net:
http://www.broadcom.com
http://www.qualcomm.com/


Updated : 2021-06-21 02:22 GMT+08:00