Qualcomm loses battle to lift import ban

Imports of third generation (3G) mobile phones containing chips from Qualcomm have been banned in the US. The US President's administration has confirmed an earlier ban put in place by the International Trade Commission (ITC).

Qualcomm was found by an administrative judge of the ITC to have infringed patents belonging to Broadcom. The ITC said that it would ban phones containing the chip in what has been a long-running dispute between Qualcomm and Broadcom.

Qualcomm said that it will appeal the decision and renew its request for a stay on the ban until its appeal is complete. The ITC is a Government agency and its decisions can be appealed through the court system. Qualcomm has lodged an appeal with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said that she was unwilling to overturn the ITC ruling, something the President's office has only done on five occasions. She said decisions would only be over-ruled in extraordinary circumstances.

The ban relates to technologies which allow mobile users to use the internet through their phones.

"We are gratified by the decision of U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab not to intervene in this case," said David Dull, Broadcom's senior vice president and general counsel in a statement. "The ITC remedy announced on 7th June was the measured and fair outcome of a two-year investigative process."

"The comprehensive 60-day interagency review of the ITC order involved senior policy experts from a wide range of Executive Branch agencies, including the Office of the Trade Representative, the Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Commerce Department and the State Department, among others," he said. "Clearly, this senior level review charged to protect the public interest fully weighed all the issues, separating fact from assertion, and just as the ITC did, concluded that protecting intellectual property rights best served that interest."