SAN DIEGO -- January 20, 2000 -- Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, today announced that the Korean Industrial Property Office (KIPO), the patent agency of Korea, has upheld the validity of 46 of 49 claims of Qualcomm's Korean Patent No. 134390. The KIPO's decision came in response to an opposition to all claims of the patent initiated by Motorola. The KIPO rejected nearly the entirety of Motorola's challenge, confirming the validity of the 46 claims in the face of more than 15 new references cited by Motorola as alleged prior art. Claims of this patent that were confirmed are essential to both Second (2G) and Third Generation (3G) CDMA wireless telecommunications standards, covering critical specifications of such standards.
The patent, entitled "System and method for generating signal waveforms in a CDMA cellular telephone system," describes inventions for generating the basic CDMA waveforms used in CDMA wireless systems such as IS-95 and the systems proposed for 3G standards. The inventions of the patent enable multiple callers in a CDMA wireless telecommunications network to efficiently use the same frequency band without mutual interference, allowing for greater system capacity and better link performance.
"We are certainly pleased with that portion of the KIPO's decision upholding the validity of the overwhelming majority of our claims. The confirmation of our invention in the face of the additional references significantly strengthens the patent in Korea," said Ben Miller, vice president and chief patent strategist for Qualcomm. "While we respectfully disagree with the patent examiner's decision to cancel three claims and will appeal, that decision does not change the applicability of the patent to all of the CDMA standards in practice today in Korea or those under consideration for future adoption. The 46 remaining claims cover these standards quite extensively. In addition, we have many other patents issued and pending in Korea and around the world that cover essential features and specifications of these standards."
The disposition of this Korean patent does not have any effect on patents for this invention issued or pending in the United States or in any other country. In fact, the validity of all 49 claims of the United States counterpart to this patent, U.S. Patent 5,103,459, was affirmed last year by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the face of two requests for reexamination filed by anonymous requestors in 1996 and 1997, in which more than 80 additional references were submitted to the Patent Office by the requestors and by Qualcomm. The Patent Office, after carefully reviewing all the additional prior art, concluded that the patent was valid and that Qualcomm was also entitled to 19 new claims.
Qualcomm's pioneering efforts in the development of CDMA cellular technology have yielded more than 300 issued United States patents relating to CDMA and hundreds of issued and pending CDMA patent applications around the world. Qualcomm holds dozens of patents that are essential to the leading standards. In particular, Qualcomm has identified to international standards setting organizations more than 100 separate patents and published applications (not counting foreign counterparts) relevant to the W-CDMA standard proposed to those bodies for 3G wireless systems. More than 75 major manufacturers of telecommunications equipment have taken royalty-bearing licenses under Qualcomm's patent portfolio.
Many of Qualcomm's patents are in various stages of the application process in other countries and could become the subject of opposition proceedings, a common part of the patent process outside the United States. Qualcomm will continue to vigorously pursue its intellectual property rights around the world.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on the Company's CDMA digital technology. The Company's business areas include integrated CDMA chipsets and system software; technology licensing; Eudora® email software for Windows® and Macintosh® computing platforms; and satellite-based systems including OmniTRACS® and portions of the Globalstar™ system. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in theS&P500 Index and is a 1999 FORTUNE 500® company traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol QCOM.
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 26, 1999, and most recent Form 10-Q.