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August 13, 2007

Disgraced

In the wake of public humiliation for sordid corporate behavior during patent litigation in a court decision early last week, and yet another last Friday, Qualcomm general counsel Lou Lupin resigned today. The aggressiveness that characterized Qualcomm on the legal front, which Lupin signified, may now be tempered.

After representing the company in a patent litigation in 1994, Lupin joined Qualcomm since 1995, and became general counsel in 2000.

Michael King, an analyst with the Gartner Group, was hopeful that Lupin's exit may signal a strategic shift from Qualcomm as legal gunslinger. “Qualcomm has always been considered very, very aggressive, and Lou was definitely known for being aggressive in their defense."

Last Friday, Judge James Selna in Santa Ana district court slapped Qualcomm with double damages of $39.3 million, as well as awarding attorneys fees, to Broadcom. A jury had awarded $19.4 million in May to Broadcom for willful infringement by Qualcomm. Selna opined: "There is a spectrum of improper conduct for determining the amount to award. That Qualcomm's conduct was not at the most egregious end of the spectrum does not mean that no enhanced award is due." The same logic applied to granting attorneys fees to Broadcom.

Facing a ban on chip import from a Broadcom victory at the ITC, Qualcomm is currently appealing, having been ignored in a bid for a presidential veto. Expect a continuation in Qualcomm's string of legal defeats as the bad boys get no sympathy from the CAFC.

In the patent war that Qualcomm started with Broadcom, Qualcomm has repeatedly shot itself.

Posted by Patent Hawk at August 13, 2007 7:17 PM | Patents In Business

Comments

This article refers (in the last sentence) to the fact that Qualcomm "has repeatedly shot itself." I am aware of a few of the guffaws, but not the whole story. Can anyone point to a good summary or inclusive article that goes over what happened, from the start, for those of us who don't know the whole story? Thanks!

Posted by: Sierraruss at August 15, 2007 11:10 AM

There were links in this story to previous stories in The Patent Prospector on Qualcomm's litigation blues. For more coverage, a suggestion is to go to Google News and search news.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at August 15, 2007 11:52 AM