Sat, May 03, 2014 - Page 15 News List

US infringement suit targets HTC and Qualcomm

Bloomberg

ParkerVision Inc, the wireless chip designer that won a US$173 million patent-infringement verdict against Qualcomm Inc last year, sued the company again and went after one of its customers, smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電).

The new lawsuit was filed on the same day a US federal judge in Orlando, Florida, heard arguments on Qualcomm’s request to throw out the earlier verdict and ParkerVision’s demand that Qualcomm be ordered to stop using its patented technology. The judge denied both requests, according to Kevin Rivette of 3LP Advisors, which is working with ParkerVision on its licensing.

“We continue to believe that ParkerVision’s intellectual property is widely deployed in Qualcomm’s past, current and next-generation chipsets,” including those sold by HTC, ParkerVision chief executive Jeff Parker said in a statement yesterday.

ParkerVision, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is trying to broaden its business, hiring in February a company headed by former IBM lawyer Rivette to negotiate patent licensing deals with chipmakers and mobile device manufacturers, which could include Broadcom Corp, Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.

“The entire value of the company is in its licensing ability,” said Cheryl Milone, chief executive officer of ABrticle One Partners, a New York-based intellectual property advisory firm.

A jury in October last year found that Qualcomm infringed on four ParkerVision patents for lowering the size and battery power of chips used in mobile devices to receive data from cell towers. The US$173 million damage award was the second-biggest patent verdict last year, behind the US$290 million awarded to Apple in a retrial of its fight with Samsung.

The latest lawsuit involves patents that relate to the way mobile devices send information back to the cellular tower. While the first trial focused on technology found in a US$4 chip, the patents at issue in this case involve technology that typically cost US$20 or more per device, Parker said.

Qualcomm, based in San Diego, California, claimed in the first trial that it never used the technology and came up with its own ideas. The company is the biggest provider of mobile device microchips, with US$24.9 billion in revenue last year. HTC, based in Taoyuan, has reported declining sales for 10 straight quarters.

ParkerVision shares rose 61 percent on Oct. 17 last year when it won the liability phase of the trial, then plunged 59 percent a week later when damages were less than half the US$432 million in royalties the company had sought.

Parker has said that the market for its products dried up because of Qualcomm’s infringement.

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