Qualcomm Chip Ban Upheld
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed Qualcomm's request for a stay of the ban, saying that it can't consider a stay until a presidential review period is over. U.S. President George Bush has 60 days following the U.S. International Trade Commission's decision from June 7 to overturn the ban.
The ITC in early June banned the importation into the U.S. of future versions of Qualcomm chips that infringe on Broadcom Corp. patents. A list of mobile companies joined Qualcomm's request for a stay to the federal court, including Verizon Wireless Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp., T-Mobile USA Inc., Motorola Inc., AT&T Mobility LLC, LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A. Inc. and others.
The Friday ruling caps off a difficult week for Qualcomm. On Thursday, Verizon Wireless dropped its participation in efforts to overturn the ITC ruling and announced that it struck a deal that will allow it to continue to import phones with the banned chips by paying Broadcom for each phone. While Qualcomm called the move a positive development, others said the agreement makes it even less likely that the President will overturn the ban because it signals the companies might reach a deal on their own.
Qualcomm also suffered a blow overseas this week, where the European Commission said it might mandate the use of DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) technology for mobile TV services. DVB-H competes with Qualcomm's MediaFlo technology, which would be forbidden in Europe if the commission were to issue the mandate.