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It may take a while to erase the black mark two San Francisco Bay Area law firms � and their client, Qualcomm Inc. � received last week courtesy of a San Diego federal judge, but the company and firms have all vowed to fight. In a strongly worded 54-page ruling, San Diego federal Judge Rudi Brewster accused Qualcomm and its trial counsel of committing “gross litigation misconduct” by withholding crucial evidence in Qualcomm’s patent infringement case against Broadcom Corp. Though the judge did not identify the law firms by name, he specifically referred to Qualcomm’s representation up until the spring of this year, a time when the company was represented by Heller Ehrman and Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder. Heller partner Stanley Young and Day Casebeer partner James Batchelder were among the outside counsel representing Qualcomm. Brewster criticized “Qualcomm’s constant stonewalling, concealment and repeated misrepresentations” during discovery, scolded the company’s “presentation of numerous witnesses who steadfastly testified falsely” and condemned its counsel, which “adamantly denied the obvious, and then, when the truth was discovered and exposed by the document production, sequentially contended denial of relevance, justification, mistake, and finally non-awareness.” Brewster ordered Qualcomm to pay all of Broadcom’s litigation fees, which David Rosmann, vice president of intellectual property litigation for Broadcom, said could be around $10 million. The judge also disqualified two of Qualcomm’s patents. He is expected to issue a ruling in the next couple of weeks on possible formal sanctions against Qualcomm and its attorneys. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr represented Broadcom in the litigation. Broadcom is seeking an evidentiary hearing to find out how the evidence came to be concealed, Rosmann said. The company is also asking for a discovery master to monitor Qualcomm’s conduct in other litigation. After Qualcomm was found to be infringing on a Broadcom patent in a separate case, the International Trade Commission issued a ban in June on the importation of cellphones using Qualcomm chips that infringe on the patent. Last week, the Bush administration declined to reverse that ban. In a statement on Brewster’s ruling, Qualcomm said it “respectfully disagrees with the court’s findings” and intends to appeal them. “Qualcomm acknowledges the seriousness of the court’s findings and reiterates its previous apology to the court for the errors made during discovery and for the inaccurate testimony of certain of its witnesses,” the statement read. Batchelder was out of town last Tuesday and was not available to comment. His colleague Craig Casebeer declined to comment and referred to Qualcomm’s released statement. Young released a statement on behalf of his firm denying any allegations that it knowingly misled the court. “The arguments that Heller Ehrman made during the course of the Qualcomm litigation were based on the facts as Heller Ehrman understood them,” the statement read. Young also said the firm was not in charge of responding to requests for evidence about Qualcomm’s consulting in the standard-setting body.

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