Trade Commission Bans Import of Qualcomm Chips
In a potentially crippling blow to a top manufacturer of telecom chip technology, the U.S. International Trade Commission on Thursday found that because Qualcomm infringed on chip patents held by Broadcom Corp, importation of phones holding those chips is now banned in the United States, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The ruling bans the import of new mobile phones with the specific Qualcomm chips, which includes manufacturers from Motorola to Samsung and could affect millions of phones. The finding, which came on a 3-2 vote, directly orders wireless carriers to link up with phones carrying the chips, effective June 7.
A jury in Orange County, Calif., found in May that Qualcomm had breached the Broadcom patents, and awarded the latter company $19.6 million. The Trade Commission’s ruling was a matter of government policy and contains no direct financial penalties. Broadcom had sought a complete ban of phones already on the market containing the chips, but the ITC stopped short of that.