BOSTON -- Mobile phone technology company Qualcomm Inc. has won the latest round in its long-standing fight with Motorola Inc. over CDMA (code division multiple access) patents. Qualcomm drew favorable rulings in three patent opposition proceedings in Korea and Europe, the company announced Tuesday.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office upheld two Qualcomm patents in January -- one for power control in second- and third-generation CDMA wireless telecommunications and another covering the formatting of data for transmission.
Last month, the European Patent Office confirmed the validity of all claims of a Qualcomm patent in Europe covering a processor used in CDMA receivers to normalize incoming blocks of data, the company said.
Qualcomm and Motorola have sparred in court since March 1997 over CDMA patents, with Qualcomm generally prevailing. Qualcomm and Motorola agreed in 1990 to co-develop and sell CDMA technology in cellular phones. In July 1999, Qualcomm asked the courts to terminate all licenses granted to Motorola, but keep those granted by Motorola, hoping to break the agreement. A series of suits and countersuits in the U.S. and foreign courts followed.
In August 1999, the U.S. District Court in San Diego found Qualcomm had not violated Motorola patents. Motorola had claimed the design of Qualcomm's Q cellular phone was too close to Motorola's own clam-shell designed StarTAC, and violated two Motorola patents.
In January 2000, the Korean court upheld Qualcomm's patents in 46 of 49 of Motorola's complaints relating to Korean Patent No. 134390 -- "System and method for generating signal waveforms in a CDMA cellular telephone system."
Two months later the companies dropped their lawsuits against each other to return to the original 1990 co-development agreement. Qualcomm sold its subscriber and infrastructure businesses since the 1990 agreement was made, making void the related licenses sold by Motorola to Qualcomm.
Motorola, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, can be reached at +1-847-576-5000 or at http://www.motorola.com. Qualcomm, based in San Diego, can be reached at +1-858-587-1121 or at http://www.qualcomm.com.