Qualcomm claimed an infringement of patents that are "essential" to the manufacture or use of equipment that complies with the GSM, GPRS and Edge cellular standards and to certain Wi-Fi interoperability standards.
The firm alleges that Broadcom is infringing six of its patents by the manufacture and sale of integrated circuits for use in GSM handsets, and is infringing the remaining patent by the manufacture and sale of semiconductors for Wi-Fi devices.
Qualcomm is seeking an injunction against Broadcom's continued manufacture and sale of these products as well as monetary damages.
"Broadcom's integrated circuits for GSM standards-compliant devices unavoidably infringe Qualcomm's patents essential to the GSM standards," Qualcomm alleged.
Qualcomm explained that second-generation GSM systems rely on a form of technology known as Time Division Multiple Access. Many GSM wireless carriers have chosen to deploy a form of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) for 3G services, called Wideband CDMA.
However, even before the 3G transition, GSM systems have been adding data and other capabilities via GPRS and Edge technologies, with advancements such as higher data transmission rates, increased spectral efficiency, greater capacity, resistance to interference, access to packet switched networks and multimedia distribution.
As a result, these evolving GSM standards have incorporated a number of Qualcomm's patented inventions originally developed to enable such capabilities in CDMA networks, according to Qualcomm.
The patents in this suit cover some of Qualcomm's intellectual property incorporated into the GSM standards through GPRS and Edge, the company claimed.
"Our complaint, based on our initial review of Broadcom's business, discloses that a number of Broadcom's major product lines infringe Qualcomm's patents. We are continuing to examine Broadcom's other businesses," said Louis Lupin, senior vice president and general counsel at Qualcomm.
"Those who believe that Qualcomm's intellectual property portfolio is limited to CDMA have overlooked the breadth of our business activity and the extent of our research and development from which our intellectual property is generated.
"Our intellectual property rights are broad, and we will not hesitate to assert their full breadth when appropriate."
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