Bush Administration Upholds Qualcom Phone Ban

The Bush administration upheld an import ban Monday on phones that contain Qualcomm Inc. chips, further threatening the introduction of new handsets. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said she was sticking to a long practice of declining to overrule the U.S. International Trade Commission unless conditions were "extraordinary." The executive branch has overruled the ITC only five times, most recently in 1987.

In June, the ITC banned imports of new, high-end phones that contain Qualcomm chips, raising doubts about the introduction of some models from carriers including Sprint Nextel Corp. and manufacturers like LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. The ITC ruling came in patent dispute between Qualcomm and rival chipmaker Broadcom Corp. The ITC found that Qualcomm infringed on a patent that protected Broadcom's technology to conserve battery power.

News source: SiliconValley.com

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There's probably a handful of patent cases ongoing which concern components in the Dell laptop that I'm using right now- yet they're not banned.

In fact, the WWAN chip in my laptop was made by Qualcomm.

What about the phones already out there on the shelves? In example, I just picked up brand new from my cell phone company a phone that has the "Digital by Qualcomm" sticker on it. I am guessing this has to do with a different chip and not their chips as a whole?

Jeez, what would even be for sale if there were bans on every single item that has had patent infringement issues?