A US trade panel on Thursday banned the importation of certain mobile phones using chips made by Qualcomm, saying they infringed on a patent held by rival maker Broadcom.
The International Trade Commission said the so-called third-generation chips for phones operated by Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T infringed on a US patent held by its fellow California firm Broadcom.
In a statement, the ITC said that the Commission is issuing a limited exclusion order that bars the importation of Qualcomm's infringing chips and chipsets and circuit board modules or carriers containing them.
In addition, the exclusion order bars the importation of certain handheld wireless communications devices, such as cellular telephone handsets and personal digital assistants, that contain Qualcomm's infringing chips and chipsets.
It's not yet known if Windows Mobile devices are affected too but there good (or better bad) chances that some could, since the HTC Hermes (AT&T/Cingular 8525) or the Samsung BlackJack uses Qualcomm UMTS chips.
UPDATE: Analysts said the ban had no immediate impact on Qualcomm
earnings and device sales as it exempts phone models already being sold. As for
new phones, there might be still enough time for Qualcomm to find a work-around
design or to seek an appeal. So this means, currently selling Windows Mobile
smartphones shouldn't be affected at all but it might affects new devices like
the soon to be launched Sprint PPC-6800, the EV-DO version of the previously
mentioned HTC Hermes. Let's see how everything turns out.
Cheers ~ Arne