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Broadcom moves to dismiss Microtune suit

Sun, 06/22/2003 - 8:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

The legal battle between Microtune Inc. and Broadcom Corp. has taken yet another turn, with Broadcom filing a motion to dismiss its patent suit against Microtune with prejudice.

Broadcom first filed the suit on July 15, 2002, in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. In it, Broadcom alleged that Microtune infringed on a patent (No. 6,377,315) entitled "System and method for providing a low power receiver design."

Broadcom filed the motion to dismiss the suit on June 18.

Broadcom, in a statement, said it sought to re-examine the '315 patent "because technical references recently provided to Broadcom raised issues as to whether the patent claims were invalidated by these references."

In turn, Broadcom has submitted the '315 tuner patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for re-examination

"We believe that review of the patent by the PTO will be far more efficient than litigation in resolving this issue."

The court has not yet ruled on Broadcom's motion, but Microtune said it does not intend to oppose it. Microtune also noted that it is reviewing whether to seek legal costs and fees incurred from the lawsuit.

In March, a Texas jury ruled in favor of Microtune in a separate patent infringement case against Broadcom involving a Microtune patent for a "highly integrated television tuner on a single microcircuit." In April, the court barred Broadcom from selling and importing into the U.S. its BCM3415 silicon tuner and certain reference design boards containing that product.

Broadcom, at the time, said it would appeal the decision and that it would create new tuners for its existing vendor base. Manufacturers such as Linksys (now part of Cisco Systems) and Scientific-Atlanta were among those that use the BCM3415 in some product models.

In March, Broadcom filed a separate lawsuit in the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging that Microtune had engaged in unfair trade practices by importing tuners, power amplifiers and Bluetooth-based products based on two Broadcom patents.

Broadcom said its motion to dismiss the '315 case does not affect the ITC case, which is expected to go to trial in October 2003.

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