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Broadcom slaps Qualcomm with another patent suit

Continuing the companies' long-running war over wireless communications patents, Broadcom is suing Qualcomm for patent misuse, it was announced Wednesday.

Chipmaker Broadcom announced on Wednesday it is once again suing Qualcomm, claiming the company's sales and licensing practices amount to patent misuse.

The complaint was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego. According to Broadcom's claims, Qualcomm receives royalties twice for its patents by controlling the post-sale use of its already-"exhausted" wireless communications patents. Qualcomm's control over its patents constitutes misuse, Broadcom claims, and has brought harm to the industry and consumers.

The lawsuit continues a series of battles over wireless communications patents between Qualcomm and Broadcom. Most recently, a federal appeals court on Sept. 24 affirmed an earlier ruling in federal court that Qualcomm was infringing upon two of Broadcom's cell phone patents. The appeals court did, however, find that Qualcomm was not infringing upon one other patent in question.

In 2007, the U.S. International Trade Commission banned the import of new models of 3G wireless handsets with Qualcomm chipsets because they infringed upon a Broadcom patent. Broadcom's disputes with Qualcomm over wireless communications technology began in 2005.