Sunday, September 16, 2007

More on the bad conduct of lawyers for Qualcomm

In another chapter of the unraveling of Qualcomm in the Broadcom dispute, Bruce Bigelow discusses the fate of some of the lawyers:

For the second time this year, Qualcomm has replaced the Silicon Valley law firm that was representing the wireless giant in a major patent infringement dispute.

At one level, the move to replace the Cupertino law firm of Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder was a minor procedural matter in a lawsuit Qualcomm filed against Nokia two years ago.

San Diego federal Judge Roger Benitez signed an order Tuesday that approved Qualcomm's request to substitute Steven Strauss as its lead attorney in the case. Strauss is a partner in the San Diego office of Cooley Godward Kronish.

But the switch also offers more fodder in the continuing saga of “The Qualcomm 14” – the 14 lawyers who face judicial sanctions for misconduct that was detailed in a 54-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Rudi Brewster.

Brewster ordered the 14 lawyers to face a sanctions hearing, scheduled for next month, after presiding over a separate patent lawsuit that Qualcomm filed against Broadcom, a rival chipmaker in Irvine.

Of the details of the misconduct by the lawyers:

Nine of the 14 lawyers facing sanctions were from Day Casebeer, including James Batchelder, who led Qualcomm legal team in both cases. The other five were from the Heller Ehrman law firm, including San Diego partners David Kleinfeld and Barry Tucker.

A federal jury deliberated six hours before finding that Broadcom not only did not infringe on two Qualcomm patents, but that Qualcomm also had withheld patent information from official patent bodies.

In the months after the trial, Qualcomm acknowledged it had not produced 230,000 pages of internal e-mails and other relevant evidence for the trial.

Judge Brewster cited the Qualcomm 14's “inexplicable” failure to find such material in his August ruling, which found “exceptional” misconduct and ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom's legal fees in the case.

See also

Is the Jaffe/Lerner Analysis of Patent Law Correct?

Note also that Jesse Seyfer had a piece in The Recorder on 8 Aug 07. Seyfer gets into a discussion of Qualcomm's involvement in standards setting. This reality makes the discussion by Jaffe and Lerner in Innovation and Its Discontents of Qualcomm and of Rambus a complete joke. One simply cannot believe what is in Innovation and Its Discontents.


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

The Patent Prospector blog has some additional information:

California law requires attorneys to "maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client." The jurisdiction is California. But the lawyers seek to weasel, asserting that federal law should apply, as patent suits are tried under federal statute, or the due process requires that federal law trump state law in this instance. So much for the concept of a republic.

Heller attorneys Hail Mary: "Due process of law requires that the Heller attorneys be able to fully and fairly defend the threat of sanctions from this court, which they cannot do absent a finding that the federal common law self-defense exception... applies to the [order to show cause]. Granting the exception, they claimed, would allow them to present "very compelling exonerating evidence" about the discovery proceedings.

8:51 AM  

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