Patent dispute could block incoming phones

Janet Babin Jun 8, 2007
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Patent dispute could block incoming phones

Janet Babin Jun 8, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: The federal government has banned the import of some cell phones made with Qualcomm chips. They violate a patent owned by rival company called Broadcom. But don’t look for a border-roundup any time soon. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: The ban affects some types of Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile cell phones. The disputed patent involves a device that makes their batteries last longer.

But the ban can only take effect if the White House approves it. Justin Hughes, with Cardozo Law School, expects that’ll happen.

Justin Hughes: Because we’ve been going around the world saying to lots of countries, “You’ve got to be more serious about your enforcement of intellectual property rights.”

The White House or its representative has 60 days to decide, and a whole lot of deal-making can happen in between. Still, if the ban were to take effect, Qualcomm and the cell phone companies could lose millions.

But analyst Daniel Berninger, with Tier One Research, doesn’t expect it to come to that.

Daniel Berninger: The practical effect of this development, it’s essentially just a negotiating point.

Broadcom said yesterday it’s willing to open discussions with Qualcomm over the patent dispute.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: The federal government has banned the import of some cell phones made with Qualcomm chips. They violate a patent owned by rival company called Broadcom. But don’t look for a border-roundup any time soon. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: The ban affects some types of Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile cell phones. The disputed patent involves a device that makes their batteries last longer.

But the ban can only take effect if the White House approves it. Justin Hughes, with Cardozo Law School, expects that’ll happen.

Justin Hughes: Because we’ve been going around the world saying to lots of countries, “You’ve got to be more serious about your enforcement of intellectual property rights.”

The White House or its representative has 60 days to decide, and a whole lot of deal-making can happen in between. Still, if the ban were to take effect, Qualcomm and the cell phone companies could lose millions.

But analyst Daniel Berninger, with Tier One Research, doesn’t expect it to come to that.

Daniel Berninger: The practical effect of this development, it’s essentially just a negotiating point.

Broadcom said yesterday it’s willing to open discussions with Qualcomm over the patent dispute.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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