Aiming to leverage a recently awarded patent, silicon maker Broadcom Corp.
has filed a counterclaim against Microtune Inc., which filed a lawsuit against
Broadcom early last year over tuner-on-a-chip technology.
Broadcom hopes to include in the case patent No. 6,377,315, which describes a
'system and method for providing a low-power receiver design.' Broadcom filed
for that patent Nov. 12, 1999. It was awarded April 23, 2002.
Broadcom spokesman Bill Blanning said the company believes Microtune's
solid-state tuners infringe on Broadcom's newly issued patent.
Broadcom is seeking a permanent injunction on Microtune's core tuner
business, including models such as the 'MT2030,' 'MT2032,' 'MT2040' and 'MT211,'
and modules and systems incorporating 'at least' those models.
Broadcom made the motion to ask the court to allow information on Broadcom's
newly issued patent to be part of the proceedings related to Microtune's
Blanning said the judge could consolidate Broadcom's counterclaim with the
Microtune complaint or direct Broadcom to file a completely separate lawsuit.
Broadcom expects that decision to be made within the next 30 days, Blanning
Broadcom's counterclaim stems from a lawsuit Microtune filed against the
company Jan. 24, 2001, with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
In that suit, Microtune alleged that Broadcom's 'BCM 3415' microchip
infringed on Microtune's 'highly integrated television tuner on a single
microcircuit' patent (No. 5,737,035). At the time, Microtune said it was seeking
undisclosed monetary damages.
Microtune filed for the '035 patent April 21, 1995, and it was awarded April
7, 1998. The company introduced products based on the patent the following
Microtune's case against Broadcom is expected to go to trial in early
October. For now, the court is mulling over a mid-March 2002 'Markman' hearing,
which interprets the claims of the case. The court could issue a claim
construction later this month.