SAN DIEGO -- July 17, 2000 -- Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, today announced that the Japanese Patent Office and the European Patent Office (EPO) have upheld the validity of three of Qualcomm's patents covering important features of CDMA systems. The Japanese Patent Office confirmed the validity of Japanese Patent No. 2763099, the Japanese version of Qualcomm's first CDMA patent originally filed in the United States in 1986 and granted in Japan in March 1998. The patent, entitled "Spread Spectrum Multiple Access Communication System Using Satellite or Terrestrial Repeaters," claims inventions that are essential to all viable commercial CDMA standards, including the two third-generation (3G) standards, known as W-CDMA and cdma2000, to be deployed in Japan. The Japanese Patent Office's decision came in response to opposition proceedings initiated in 1999 by six companies including Nokia, Ericsson and NTT. The Japanese Patent Office rejected the opponents' challenge and maintained all claims of the patent with minor clarifications proposed by Qualcomm.
In two separate decisions in Europe, the EPO upheld the validity of European Patent No. 0667068, entitled "Dual Distributed Antenna System," and European Patent No. 0695492, "Method And Apparatus of Providing Audio Feedback Over a Digital Channel." The inventions of the first patent enable enhanced coverage and increased capacity in communications systems, especially indoor CDMA systems, and mitigate the adverse effect of fading which can be severe in the indoor environment. The second patent covers an audible feedback feature that gives the user the ability to monitor audibly the progress of a fax or modem connection over a digital channel. In each case, the EPO rejected oppositions filed against the patent and confirmed that the patent was valid.
"We are pleased that the Japanese Patent Office and the European Patent Office have upheld the validity of these important patents," said Ben Miller, vice president and chief patent strategist for Qualcomm. "The confirmation of these inventions strengthens our patent portfolio in Japan and Europe and emphasizes the international value of the many licenses granted by Qualcomm."
Earlier this year, Qualcomm reported that the Korean Industrial Property Office (KIPO), the patent agency of Korea, upheld the validity of 46 of 49 claims of Qualcomm's Korean Patent No. 134390. The confirmed claims of this patent are also essential to both second and third- generation CDMA wireless telecommunications 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 in the proposed 3G standards. 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 re-examination filed in 1996 and 1997, in which more than 80 additional references were submitted. 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 400 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 CDMA standards. More than 80 major manufacturers of telecommunications equipment around the world have taken royalty-bearing licenses under Qualcomm's patent portfolio.
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; satellite-based systems including portions of the Globalstar™ system and wireless fleet management systems, OmniTRACS® and OmniExpress™. Qualcomm owns patents which are essential to all of the CDMA wireless telecommunications standards that have been adopted or proposed for adoption by standards-setting bodies worldwide. Qualcomm has licensed its essential CDMA patent portfolio to more than 80 telecommunications equipment manufacturers worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in theS&P500 Index and is a 2000 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® 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.