Chip manufacturer Broadcom will announce today that it will supply 'baseband processors' chips to Nokia. This is just the latest set back for rival Qualcomm, the nation's largest cell phone chip manufacturer. Last month the International Trade Commission banned imports on all cell phones containing Qualcomm chips that were deemed in violation of Broadcom's patents. Furthermore, on Monday a US District Court Judge ruled that two Qualcomm patents on video-compression technologies cannot be enforced because their designs were kept secret from a standards-setting group. The judge also concluded that Qualcomm had made false and misleading statements during the trial and ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom's legal fees.
The National Association of Broadcasters came out against the a la carte pricing proposals put forward Sirius and XM. In its report, the NAB said that consumers would pay more per channel than in the previous system, and that there were enough limitations on channel availability that the arrangement was “not a true a la carte choice.”
TracFone is dropping its legal challenge to the Copyright Office's decision that consumers have the right to circumvent wireless firmware to unlock their cell phones. The prepaid cell phone company claimed in its suit filed last December that the Librarian of Congress did not have the authority to make such an exemption. TracFone's lawyer, James Baldinger said, “We were concerned that the decision was susceptible to an interpretation that would allow criminals to use that exemption as a shield to avoid civil liability…Now we've been running all over the country, finding these criminals and when we can, suing them. We've had tremendous success.” TracFone reportedly dropped the claim against the LOC because the wireless carrier has been so successful prosecuting individuals who purchase hundreds of Tracfone devices in order to unlock and resell them.
Jack Balkin continues his review of the Fairness Doctrine. In a long post last month Balkin argued that the Doctrine was bad public policy, because licensees were able to determine what were the issues of public concern, and who represented “both sides” of the issue. However, Balkin argues that the Doctrine is not unconstitutional, as some opponents have argued. “…the constitutional question is whether there is a reasonable nexus to the underlying goal. It is hard for me to say that the nexus is not there.
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