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Broadcom fires back at Microtune

Sun, 03/02/2003 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

The patent war being waged by Broadcom Corp. and Microtune Inc. heated up a notch Monday, as Broadcom alleged that Microtune had infringed on two patents.

The latest in a series of tit-for-tat complaints, filed this time by Broadcom in the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleges that Microtune engaged in unfair trade practices by importing tuners, power amplifiers and Bluetooth products based on Broadcom's intellectual property. The patents involved in this complaint include No. 6,445,039B1 (System and method for ESD protection) and No. 5,682,379 (wireless personal local area network).

Broadcom's complaint seeks an order to bar Microtune's importation of those products into the U.S., as well as cable modems, set-tops, PCTV cards and Bluetooth headsets that house Microtune chips that allegedly infringe on Broadcom's patents.

Broadcom's barb is the latest in an ongoing legal battle between the two companies. In another legal squabble, Microtune has alleged that Broadcom's BCM 3415 microchip infringes on a Microtune patent for an integrated television tuner on a single microcircuit. Opening arguments in that case are scheduled to begin March 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division.

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