By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2007-06-01 Print this article Print

Bruederle said that he thinks Broadcoms suits are unlikely to affect phone sales or customers. "I dont think over the next few years there will be much effect at all. There are multiple chips that go into these phones. Customers dont have a single source." Bruederle said that he doesnt think the suits will have any effect at all on end users, and that the suits should not have any effect on 3G deployment. "On the other side of that, with all their experience and all of the years Qualcomm has been designing CDMA [Code Division Multiple Access]-based technologies you have to take them as a pretty competent chip supplier in this arena," Bruederle said. He pointed out that this ultimately means that companies will have to license patents from each other in order to make the products their customers want. "I think there will be some amount of cross-licensing, so that recognizes the intellectual properties of the companies negotiating," he said.
Both Bruederle and Mathias pointed out that the monetary award in this case, under $20 million, is insignificant. "Pocket change," said Bruederle.
"Its really nothing," agreed Mathias. Analyst Jack Gold, founder of J. Gold Associates, said that lawsuits such as the Broadcom-Qualcomm dispute are to be expected. "What goes around comes around," Gold said. Gold said that its usually hard to predict how juries will decide these cases. "All of these suits are really tough because you have to prove this esoteric stuff to people who dont understand," he said. "What it does prove is that all of these tech giants are trying to play the legal system to their advantage," Gold pointed out. "That works for a while, but ultimately what you really have to do is make products," Gold said. "Products change so quickly in this space, that if youre wasting time suing people, its wasted resources." Ultimately, Gold said, he doesnt see how this latest verdict will affect Qualcomm in any way. "Its not a big deal. Business will go on, and nobody in the user community will notice," Gold said. But Gold did question the motivation for the suits by Broadcom, Qualcomm and others. "Are these patents so critical that it will negatively impact their business, or is it just trying to keep other companies from competing with them?" he asked. "Those folks that have a stable of patents will have to decide whether theyre going to defend all those patents, or be good engineers and move the market forward," Gold said. Post-trial motions are set to begin in the case on June 18. "June 18 will be a scheduling hearing," Rosmann said. "The judge will set the schedule for the briefings and the hearings. It will probably be 60 to 90 days. I think that the post-trial motion and injunction hearing will happen in 2 to 3 months. Qualcomm will ask the judge to stay the injunction, and if he refuses they will ask the circuit court to stay the injunction," he said. Editors Note: This story was updated to include information and comments from Broadcoms David Rosmann. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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