Federal court dismisses Broadcom antitrust complaint against Qualcomm

[JURIST] Wireless communications company Qualcomm [corporate website] announced [press release] Monday that the US District Court for the Southern District of California [official website] has dismissed [order, PDF] a lawsuit against it by longtime corporate rival Broadcom [corporate website] asking the court to declare several Qualcomm patents exhausted and unenforceable. In the order issued Thursday, Judge William Hayes held that Broadcom's complaint lacked grounds for relief based on a failure to list the particular patents that were allegedly exhausted. Broadcom also failed to identify sales or licenses which would have triggered the exhaustion of Qualcomm's patents. The court also found Broadcom's purported injuries were too speculative to warrant declaratory relief. Hayes wrote:

The Court has considered the totality of the circumstances and concludes that the Complaint does not allege a controversy of "sufficient immediacy andreality to warrant the issuance" of a far-reaching declaratory judgment premised on a finding that Qualcomm’s unidentified patents that are embodied in wireless chipsets and handsets are exhausted.
Broadcom filed this federal lawsuit against Qualcomm in 2008. The Supreme Court's decision in Quanta v. LG Electronics [opinion, PDF; JURIST report], an antitrust case in which the Court held that the sale of a patent triggers exhaustion, precipitated Broadcom's decision to seek declaratory relief against Qualcomm. This decision is only the latest in a long series of legal battles between the two corporations. In December, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] affirmed in part a holding against Qualcomm [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] on the basis of patent holdup. In September, the federal appeals court affirmed an injunction against Qualcomm [Reuters report] on the basis of their alleged infringement of two Broadcom patents.


 

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