Qualcomm found to infringe Broadcom patents

Jury rules against cellphone chipmaker on three patents, awards $19.6 million in damages.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A federal jury awarded the cellphone chipmaker Broadcom Corp. $19.6 million in damages after it found rival Qualcomm guilty of patent infringement, the companies said Tuesday.

Following two and a-half days of deliberation, jurors for the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., ruled that the San Diego-based Qualcomm (Charts, Fortune 500) infringed on three patents that Broadcom (Charts) had purchased.

Since the jury found Qualcomm to willfully infringe on the patents, the court could triple the damages awarded to Broadcom.

"We are very pleased with the jury's verdict," David A. Dull, Broadcom's senior vice president and general counsel said in a statement. "Broadcom's patents are our company's lifeblood, representing substantial financial investment and the hard work and innovations of our engineers around the world."

The three patents dealt with different cellphone technologies, including chip architecture for video processing, network compatibility and another patent which deals with the 'walkie-talkie' function of a cell phone.

When Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom originally filed the suit in May 2005, it claimed Qualcomm infringed on a total of 5 patents. The jury only ruled on 3 of those patents after Broadcom dismissed one and the court stayed the case on a second.

Qualcomm said it plans on challenging the jury's decision and will appeal if necessary.

"We continue to believe that none of the Broadcom patent claims are valid or were infringed by Qualcomm," said Lou Lupin, executive vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm, in a statement.

Tuesday's ruling marks a resolution to at least one of their legal battles. The two firms are awaiting a decision from the U.S. International Trade Commission after Broadcom charged Qualcomm with allegedly infringing on a patent involving battery-saving technology. In that case, Qualcomm faces a ban on U.S. imports of some of its wireless phone chips.  Top of page