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Broadcom sues Qualcomm over patents

Broadcom takes Qualcomm to federal court, alleges infringement on several of its patents.

Communications chipmaker Broadcom said Thursday that it is suing Qualcomm for allegedly infringing on several of its patents.

Broadcom filed two complaints on Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California that claim Qualcomm violated 10 of its patents related to wired and wireless communications and multimedia processing technologies. The company is seeking unspecified monetary damages from Qualcomm as well as a permanent injunction that would bar the major wireless technology maker from making or selling products that infringe on these patents.

Qualcomm products that could be impacted include chipsets that provide multimedia and voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, capabilities for Qualcomm cell phones.

"Broadcom was an early pioneer in a broad range of wired and wireless communications and multimedia technologies," Scott McGregor, Broadcom's CEO, said in a statement. "We believe that Qualcomm's current and next-generation cellular baseband and radio frequency (RF) product lines infringe a number of our patents."

In addition to the two suits filed on Wednesday, Broadcom also filed a complaint on Thursday with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that Qualcomm has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing integrated circuits and other products that infringe five Broadcom patents.

Broadcom has requested that the ITC investigate the San Diego-based company's practices and prohibit it from importing devices into the U.S. that infringe on the Broadcom patents. The company also is asking that Qualcomm be barred from selling such products that have already been imported.

Broadcom said it expects the ITC investigation to begin in late June and the California trial to begin in early 2006.

Qualcomm representatives were not available for comment.