Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, today announced that the patent offices in Europe, Korea and Japan have upheld the validity of four of Qualcomm's patents covering important features of CDMA systems.
Qualcomm's European Patent Number 500,689, entitled "Method and Apparatus for Controlling Transmission Power in a CDMA Cellular Mobile Telephone System," covers an invention that is essential to the current commercial CDMA standards as well as third-generation (3G) standards. The invention provides a technique for controlling the power of signals transmitted by cell phones that enables efficient power allocation in a cellular system. Opposition proceedings were initiated in the European Patent Office (EPO) against the patent in December 1998. During a hearing on January 29, 2002, the EPO upheld the validity of Qualcomm's patent, ruling that amended claims of the patent are valid and rejecting the challenges by the opponents.
"We are extremely pleased that the EPO has upheld the validity of our power control patent. The fact that this patent has successfully withstood attacks on its validity in Korea, Japan and now the EPO, attests to the highest level of innovation of the patented power control scheme," said Ben Miller, senior vice president and chief patent strategist, Qualcomm.
Qualcomm also reported that in two separate decisions in Korea, the validity of Qualcomm's Korean Patent Number 134,390, entitled "System and Method for Generating Signal Waveforms in a CDMA Cellular Telephone System," has been upheld. The patent covers the generation of basic CDMA waveforms in CDMA systems including current commercial CDMA standards and 3G standards. In earlier opposition proceedings, initiated in February 1999, the Korean Industrial Property Office (KIPO) upheld the patent, subject to the cancellation of three claims. Qualcomm appealed the cancellation of the three claims, while the opponent began an invalidation trial in the Korean Industrial Property Tribunal (KIPT) against the remaining 46 claims. The KIPO has now overturned the decision to revoke the three claims and has reinstated those claims in the patent. Separately, the KIPT has reached a decision in the invalidation trial to maintain the remaining claims of the patent. Together, the KIPO and the KIPT have now upheld all claims of the Korean patent.
In Japan, the Japanese Patent Office has upheld Japanese Patent Number 2,938,573 entitled "Demodulation Element Assignment in a System Capable of Receiving Multiple Signals," in a slightly amended form. The patent covers methods of handling multiple signals at a receiver and is useful in both CDMA and other, non-CDMA communication systems. Opposition proceedings were initiated against the patent in February 2000. During the opposition procedure Qualcomm submitted a request for correction of the patent in order to clarify the scope of protection afforded by the patent. The Japanese Patent Office request has now issued a decision to accept the correction and uphold the patent in amended form, thus rejecting the opposition.
"We are gratified that the validity of more key Qualcomm patents has been upheld in several jurisdictions," said Lou Lupin, senior vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm. "The confirmation of these inventions strengthens our patent portfolio in Europe, Korea and Japan, and emphasizes the international value of the many licenses granted by Qualcomm."
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 CDMA chipsets and system software; technology licensing; the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless™ (BREW™) applications platform; QChat™ push-to-talk technology; Eudora® e-mail software; digital cinema systems; and satellite-based systems including portions of the Globalstar™ system and wireless fleet management systems, OmniTRACS® and OmniExpress®. Qualcomm owns patents that 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 100 telecommunications equipment manufacturers worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in theS&P500 Index and is a 2001 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 the Company's ability to successfully design and have manufactured significant quantities of CDMA components on a timely and profitable basis, the extent and speed to which CDMA is deployed, 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 30, 2001, and most recent Form 10-Q.