Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that it has successfully defended itself against the patent infringement case brought against Qualcomm by BTG USA, Inc., and that BTG has voluntarily dismissed its case against Qualcomm and agreed to never again assert the patent in issue versus Qualcomm and its licensees.
"Qualcomm, as the holder of an extensive patent portfolio of its own, respects the legitimate patent rights of others," said Steve Altman, senior vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm. "At the same time, however, Qualcomm vigorously contests meritless patent claims when asserted against Qualcomm, its licensees, or industry standards that Qualcomm has worked hard to create and promote."
BTG had filed the lawsuit in August 1996 alleging that Qualcomm's CDMA and OmniTRACS products infringed U.S. Patent RE 34,004, a patent that BTG acquired from ITT. In the lawsuit, BTG claimed, among other things, that the ITT patent was a "pioneering" patent that was essential to practice the CDMA IS-95 standard, and that Qualcomm owed BTG tens of millions of dollars in damages. Qualcomm argued in the lawsuit that BTG's interpretation of the ITT patent was too broad and that Qualcomm was not infringing the claims of the patent.
After hearing Qualcomm's and BTG's arguments on claims construction, the court found in favor of Qualcomm by declining to find that the patent was a "pioneering" patent and by interpreting the patent claims to have a far narrower scope than BTG had alleged. Within one month after the court's ruling, BTG voluntarily offered to dismiss its case against Qualcomm and grant a complete release to Qualcomm of all claims under the patent without any payment from Qualcomm to BTG. Qualcomm accepted BTG's offer only after BTG also agreed never to sue suppliers, licensees or customers designated by Qualcomm with respect to the ITT patent.
Headquartered in San Diego, Qualcomm develops, manufactures, markets, licenses and operates advanced communications systems and products based on its proprietary digital wireless technologies. The Company's primary product areas are the OmniTRACS® system (a geostationary satellite-based, mobile communications system providing two-way data and position reporting services), CDMA wireless communications systems and products and, in conjunction with others, the development of the Globalstar™ low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communications system. Other Company products include the Eudora Pro™ electronic mail software, ASIC products, and communications equipment and systems for government and commercial customers worldwide. For more information on Qualcomm products and technologies, please visit the Company's web site at http://www.qualcomm.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including timely product development, the Company's ability to successfully manufacture significant quantities of CDMA or other equipment on a timely and profitable basis and those related to performance guarantees, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 29, 1996 and most recent Form 10-Qs.
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