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ITC Orders Ban On New 3G Handsets With Qualcomm Chips

This is a significant development— the US International Trade Commission has ordered a ban on new 3G handsets which contain Qualcomm chips that infringe on a Broadcom patent effective today. Phones which have been sold in the US are exempt, as are future phones of the same model. So the current handset brands won’t change, but if handset manufacturers want to launch new 3G devices in the US they will need to exclude the Qualcomm chip. By allowing current models to be imported the court has lessened the damage to the industry—other options being considered were to ban all CDMA phones notes the Union Tribune. From the ITC release: “The Commission found that, while exclusion of all downstream products could adversely affect the public interest, particularly the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, and U.S. consumers, the exemption for previously imported models sufficiently ameliorates this impact such that the orders should be issued.” There were two dissenting commissioners (out of six) who appeared to favor banning the importation of all Qualcomm chips and opposed the “grandfather” exemption. Qualcomm has issued a statement about this.

Qualcomm’s response: Qualcomm held a conference call after the decision. “CEO Paul Jacobs said that the ITC decision was “wrong” and that his company would take two legal steps: it would immediately seek an emergency stay of the ITC order from the federal circuit court of appeals and, secondly, it would seek a presidential veto of the ITC decision”r

via RCR News.

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June 8, 2007 - Posted by | News, Technology

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