Wireless comms firm ParkerVision has seen its shares soar today after a jury ruled that chipmaker Qualcomm had infringed its patents in a million-dollar trial over mobile phone chips used in iPhones and Galaxy devices.
The federal jury decided that Qualcomm had infringed on ParkerVision's intellectual property, finding that none of the patents invalid as Qualcomm had claimed and sending stocks up over 61 per cent to $5.43 yesterday.
The findings are just the first stage in the trial, as the court will now have to decide how much Qualcomm should pony up for the infringement and if it deliberately infringed ParkerVision's patents. ParkerVision is looking for around $500m in damages, a sum that could increase if Qualcomm is found to have infringed the patents on purpose.
At the start of the trial, ParkerVision said that Qualcomm had used its tech "relating to radio-frequency receivers and the down-conversion of electromagnetic signals".
It said it was looking for both damages and a permanent injunction on infringing Qualcomm products, including chips used in Apple and Samsung smartphones and fondleslabs.
"We are extremely pleased with the jury's verdict in this case and we look forward to presenting our damages and wilfulness arguments over the coming days," said Parkervision CEO Jeffrey Parker.
ParkerVision said that it showed its technology to Qualcomm in the late 1990s during licensing negotiations that ultimately failed. According to the company, it then saw its tech show up in Qualcomm's smartphone chips in 2011.
Qualcomm claims that it never used ParkerVision's tech and came up with its own ideas on how to convert electromagnetic signals from higher to lower frequencies, a feature that helps to make receivers smaller and more efficient. The chip firm also asserted that ParkerVision's patents were invalid, saying that even if they weren't, they weren't very valuable because they hadn't been used in anyone else's chips.
The jury, however, disagreed, deciding after a week of testimony and two days of deliberation that Qualcomm had infringed on four of ParkerVision's patents and improperly used them in its semiconductor chips. ®