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Commission Rebuffs Qualcomm Over Chip Ban

The International Trade Commission has denied Qualcomm Inc.’s request to delay a ban on wireless devices it says infringe on patents held by Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.

Companies that use Qualcomm’s chips that requested the delay from the ITC include Motorola Inc., Kyocera Wireless Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., Sprint Nextel Corp., T-Mobile USA Inc. and AT & T; Inc.

The federal agency said June 21 that Qualcomm’s request did not meet a four-prong test that requires the company requesting the delay to prove irreparable harm to the company or to public interest.

Qualcomm has asked President Bush to veto the June 7 ITC decision. He has 60 days to review it.

In a speech to thousands of attendees at Qualcomm’s annual BREW conference June 21, Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Paul Jacobs called the ITC decision “unreasonable and wrong,” and said Broadcom is “using litigation as a strategy to get ahead,” but that Qualcomm has not let it “deter its focus.”

The ban does not affect devices that were already being imported before the decision.

Qualcomm’s stock price has kept its strength throughout the saga, dipping slightly on the ITC’s news June 21, but picking back up later in the day to close at $43.56. On June 22, the stock, traded as QCOM on the Nasdaq, was down 1.5 percent at $42.91.

Verizon and Sprint could be impacted by the ITC decision more than companies such as AT & T;, which has more phone models that operate without Qualcomm’s chips, analysts have said.

In addition to asking the president to veto the ITC decision, Qualcomm has said it will ask the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay the ITC order.

Qualcomm maintains that Broadcom’s patent is invalid and not infringed. The two companies have been entangled in a legal battle with each other for several years over multiple patents.

, Katie Weeks


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