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ITC to Review SiRF/Broadcom Patent Imbroglio

October 10, 2008  - By
Image: GPS World

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has said it will review the determination of one of its administrative law judges that previously found that SiRF Technology infringed on patents held by Broadcom subsidiary Global Locate.

The ITC judge ruled in August that certain SiRF products, including SiRFstarIII and SiRFInstant GPS architectures, infringed upon six Global Locate/Broadcom patents; the judge later recommended to the ITC that it issue a ban on the import of related SiRF chips into the United States.

Both SiRF and ITC staff filed appeals independently of one another seeking a review of the ruling. Now, the ITC has said it will review claims on three out of the six patents, according to SiRF.

The commission has requested written submissions from the parties involved to address the form of remedy, if any, that should be ordered. According to the notice, if the commission contemplates some form of remedy, it must consider the effects of that remedy upon public interest, SiRF noted.

The final ITC ruling, slated for December 2008, is further subject to a 60-day presidential review period and can then be appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

SiRF, Qualcomm Play Nice

Apparently SiRF and Qualcomm want to avoid the legal snafu in which SiRF and Broadcom are currently embroiled. SiRF also announced that it and Qualcomm have signed a mutual Patent Non-Assertion Agreement covering each party’s patent portfolio.

“We believe that this agreement between leading innovators of A-GPS enabled location technology will help expand the market for location-enabled products, services and content, while enabling each of us to compete in the marketplace based on product merits,” said Kanwar Chadha, SiRFs founder and vice president of marketing.

It’s been a busy week for SiRF; on Wednesday it took the wraps off its SiRFlinkIII, a single chip that combines a GPS RF front end with a Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR controller.

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