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Federal court dismisses Qualcomm antitrust class action

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Southern District of California [official website] on Tuesday dismissed [press release] a consumer class action lawsuit against telecommunications company Qualcomm [corporate website]. Christopher Lorenzo sued Qualcomm in November, alleging that the chipset manufacturer holds patents on technologies necessary for CDMA [industry materials] cellular networks, and has used the licensing of these technologies to adversely affect competition in the CDMA market. The court reaffirmed its March 2009 decision [order, pdf], finding the harm that Lorenzo suffered as a result of the supposedly anti-competitive practices as an end consumer of cellular technology was too remote to serve as a basis for standing under the Clayton Act [text, PDF].

In April, Qualcomm settled [JURIST report] a patent infringement case with rival Broadcom [corporate website], with the companies agreeing not to assert certain patents against one another. A month earlier, a federal court had dismissed [JURIST report] Broadcom's suit seeking to declare several patents held by Qualcomm to be exhausted and unenforceable. Broadcom had filed the complaint in 2008, following the Supreme Court's decision in Quanta v. LG Electronics [opinion, PDF; JURIST report], which held that the sale of a patent triggers exhaustion. In December, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] affirmed in part [JURIST report] a holding against Qualcomm on the basis of patent holdup. In September, the federal appeals court affirmed an injunction against Qualcomm [Reuters report] on the basis of their alleged infringement of two Broadcom patents.

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