US Judge may grant Qualcomm new trial in Broadcom patent dispute

US Judge may grant Qualcomm new trial in Broadcom patent dispute

Santana: A federal judge has said it is up to chipmaker Broadcom Corp. if it wants a new trial on a claim that rival Qualcomm Inc. deliberately violated its patents.

US District Judge James Selna tentatively overturned a $39.3 million (euro27.77 million) award against Qualcomm because the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently made it more difficult to prove intentional patent infringement, a finding that allows a judge to triple a jury’s award.

A jury found in May that Qualcomm violated three patents on Broadcom technologies to help cell phones process video and walkie-talkie conversations and hand off calls between different networks. In August, before the appeals court ruling, Selna doubled the jury’s $19.6 million (euro13.85 million) award, based on a finding that the infringement was willful.

If Broadcom drops its claim that Qualcomm acted deliberately, the verdict holding San Diego-based Qualcomm liable would stand, but the amount of the award would be revised, Selna concluded in his ruling Monday. David Rosmann, an attorney for Irvine-based Broadcom, said the company has not yet decided whether to seek a new trial.

The judge asked both companies to submit any additional briefs by 26 October. 26 and said he would issue a written ruling the following week.

The appeals court’s ruling in August came in a dispute between an individual investor and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology against Seagate Technology, the world’s largest maker of hard drives.

“It would be an understatement to say that the Federal Circuit rewrote decades of case law interpreting the requirements for demonstrating willful infringement in a patent case," Selna wrote in his tentative ruling.