RealTime IT News

QUALCOMM Sues Maxim for Patent Infringement

Wireless giant QUALCOMM Thursday filed suit against Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Maxim Integrated Products in federal court in San Diego for what it claims is patent infringement.

San Diego-based QUALCOMM said the infringed patents cover inventions relating to the transmission, reception and processing of radio signals by wireless telephones. The company is seeking an injunction against the continued manufacture and sale of Maxim's related products as well as monetary damages. The suit does not seem to target chips produced by Dallas Semiconductor, a wholly owned subsidiary of Maxim.

Maxim General Council Chuck Rigg said the company had not seen the suit but did recieve a letter three-weeks ago from QUALCOMM outlining their claims.

"We wrote back asking for them to give us more specific information about which products were involved, but we never heard back," Rigg told internetnews.com.

"QUALCOMM's extensive investments in research and development have yielded valuable innovations in the field of RF transmission and reception that QUALCOMM has incorporated into its cutting-edge integrated circuit products and protected through the patent system," said Louis Lupin, senior vice president and general counsel for QUALCOMM. "QUALCOMM will not allow competitors to benefit unfairly from QUALCOMM's innovations in violation of QUALCOMM's patent rights."

The company did admit that the allegedly infringing Maxim products do not compete with QUALCOMM's Mobile Station Modem (MSM) family of integrated circuits but are designed to interoperate with those products.

Maxim makes more than 3,000 kinds of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), including more than 2,500 of its own invention. Maxim's chips - which include amplifiers, data converters, and timing and switching ICs - translate physical data such as temperature, pressure, and sound into digital signals for electronic processing. The company's products are used by thousands of electronics manufacturers in products including computers and peripherals, industrial controls, telecommunications and networking equipment, military systems, medical devices, instrumentation, and video displays.