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Archived updates for Monday, May 23, 2005

Broadcom Requests Import Investigation Against Qualcomm

On May 19, 2005, Broadcom Corporation filed a "Section 337" unfair import complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting that an investigation be instituted involving "Certain Baseband Processor Chips and Chipsets, Transmitter and Receiver (Radio) Chips, Power Control Chips, and Products Containing Same, Including Cellular Telephone Handsets." The proposed respondent is Qualcomm Incorprated and the complaint has been designated as confidential and assigned Docket No. 337-2430 for indexing in the Commission's database.

The case appears to coincide with two federal district court complaints that were reportedly filed in Santa Ana late Wednesday. Broadcom is reported to be seeking unspecified monetary damages in the paralell district court actions and has alleged that Qualcomm's current and next-generation wireless products infringe ten patents. Broadcom is also asking for an injunction barring the manufacture and sale of infringing products. The request for an injunction is likely to be heard within a few weeks.

The Commission now has 30-35 days from the filing date of the complaint in which to decide whether to institute the investigation. Upon institution, the proposed respondents will be served with the Complaint via postal mail and an Administrative Law Judge will schedule discovery, conduct a trial, and issue a written "Initial Determination," usually within about 10 months. Due to the expedited nature of these proceedings, and availability of general exclusion orders affecting non-parties, it is important to notify any potential importers of similar products as soon as possible.

Click here for more information on the importance of monitoring these ITC investigations and click here for a free audio-visual Internet presentation on "Unfair Import Investigations at the U.S. International Trade Commission." For the latest details on a particular Section 337 investigation, or to arrange a free, in-person presentation on these (and/or other) intellectual property topics, contact Bill Heinze (, at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley in Atlanta, Georgia.
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