Microtune Inc. filed a lawsuit against chip giant Broadcom Corp. Wednesday,
claiming that its competitor's recently unveiled 'BCM 3415' microchip infringes
on its tuner-on-a-chip patent.
Microtune -- which filed the suit with the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Texas, Shearman Division -- alleged specifically that
Broadcom's new microchip infringes on a Microtune patent for a 'highly
integrated television tuner on a single microcircuit.' Microtune is seeking
undisclosed monetary damages.
Calling itself 'the inventor of the single-chip broadband tuner,' Microtune
'will not hesitate to protect its rights,' chairman and CEO Douglas J. Bartek
said in a press release.
In response, Broadcom senior director of corporate communications Bill
Blanning said Microtune's suit appeared to be a 'frivolous litigation to prevent
the rollout of our superior, competitive silicon product.'
Broadcom is currently reviewing the complaint in detail, Blanning said,
noting that Broadcom was an 'early pioneer' in digital-tuner development.
Broadcom announced earlier this year that Ambit Microsystems Corp. won Data
Over Cable Service Interface Specification 1.0 certification for a cable modem
that uses the BCM 3415 silicon tuner.
Microtune, meanwhile, has inked silicon-tuner-development deals with a
handful of cable-modem vendors, including Motorola Broadband Communications
Sector, Cisco Systems Inc., Com21 Inc. and Zoom Telephonics Inc.
However, Microtune's silicon tuner has yet to be a component of a
CableLabs-certified modem. The company has said that it expects modem
manufacturers to submit at least one cable modem with Microtune gear during
Cable Television Laboratories Inc.'s next DOCSIS 1.1 certification