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Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp.

Court of Appeals for the Southern District of California
2008 WL 66932 (S.D.Cal Jan. 7, 2008)


Facts

In October 2005, Qualcomm Inc. (plaintiff) brought suit against Broadcom Corp. (defendant), alleging patent infringement on two patents. In Broadcom’s answer, it alleged an affirmative defense that the patents were unenforceable due to waiver. The argument for waiver was based on Qualcomm’s participation in the Joint Video Team (JVT) in 2002 and early 2003. The JVT developed the H.264 standard, and Qualcomm’s involvement with it would have been fatal to Qualcomm’s suit. During discovery, Qualcomm denied any involvement in the JVT before December 2003 and claimed to have no documentation relating to involvement before then. During depositions, Qualcomm’s representatives continued to deny involvement, despite the fact that Broadcom had produced a December 2002 email to a Qualcomm email address, suggesting Qualcomm’s involvement in the JVT. As Qualcomm prepared its employee witnesses for trial, one attorney, Adam Bier, came across 21 separate emails on one employee’s computer that were addressed to JVT email groups. He did not inform opposing counsel of the emails, and the correspondence only came to light on cross examination. The jury found in Broadcom’s favor with respect to the Qualcomm’s waiver. Post-trial, Qualcomm’s attorneys found 46,000 electronic documents that directly related to the case, and that tended to confirm that Qualcomm was involved in the JVT earlier than December 2003. The court found that Qualcomm had actively concealed information during discovery and trial, and it awarded attorneys fees to Broadcom, in addition to a final fee award of $8,568,633.24.

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Holding and Reasoning (Mahor, J.)

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