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Microtune, Broadcom set for fall showdown

Mon, 09/30/2002 - 8:00pm
Staff

Microtune Inc. applauded the results of a recent Markman hearing that paved the way for a patent infringement case the company has brought against silicon tuner rival Broadcom Corp.

In that case, set to go to trial Oct. 7 in Sherman, Texas, Microtune has alleged that Broadcom's BCM 3415 microchip infringed on Microtune's "Highly integrated television tuner on a single microcircuit" patent (No. 5,737,035), which Microtune filed on April 21, 1995. Microtune introduced product based on that patent in the following year. Microtune originally filed the suit on Jan. 24, 2001 with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The Markman hearing, unique to patent lawsuits, is a pre-trial process in which the presiding judge interprets certain definition and patent claims that will be allowed in the trial. United States District Judge Paul Brown oversaw the hearing in May, and issued the results on Aug. 22.

Microtune Chairman and CEO Douglas Bartek said his company was "extremely happy" with the definitions that will be admitted to the case. Of the nine "disputed" definitions, the judge will use Microtune's wording in six of them, Bartek said. Of the balance, the judge will use Broadcom's wording in one and his own wording in the final two, he said.

In the trial, Microtune is seeking an injunction that would prevent Broadcom from selling product that allegedly infringes on the Microtune patent. Bartek couldn't say what financial damages Microtune is seeking in the case, but noted that Microtune is not agreeable to licensing its technology to Broadcom or anybody else.

Broadcom, for its part, filed a suit against Microtune on July 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming Microtune infringed on a Broadcom patent (No. 6,377,315) entitled "System and method for providing a low power receiver design."

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