Qualcomm’s Appeal and Sanctioned Attorneys’ Cross-Appeals Dismissed by Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., No. 05-CV-1958-B (BLM), United States District Court for the Southern District of California; No. 2008-1348, 1381 & 1382, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

In May 2008, Qualcomm filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding Judge Rudi M. Brewster’s March 5, 2008 “Order Remanding in Part Order of Magistrate Court re Motion for Sanctions Dated 1/07/08."  On May 19, 2008, sanctioned attorneys Batchelder, Mammen, Leung and Patch filed cross appeals.  In light of these appeals, Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major concluded that jurisdiction had been transferred to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  In an order dated May 29, 2008, Magistrate Judge Major sua sponte vacated all pending briefing and hearing dates and stated the court would refrain from ruling on the pending motions until after the Federal Circuit had addressed the appeal and, if it found it appropriate to do so, remanded the case back to the district court.  Magistrate Judge Major later denied Broadcom’s motion for reconsideration of the May 29 order.

On June 3, Broadcom Corporation filed its Emergency Motion to Dismiss Appeal of Qualcomm Incorporated, and two days later, responding attorneys-appellees/cross appellants Batchelder, Mammen, and Leung filed their non-opposition.  Broadcom’s Motion argued that Qualcomm’s appeal should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because it impermissibly seeks review of an interlocutory district court order remanding for further proceedings, i.e., a non-final order.  Broadcom argued that there is still much to be done in the district court, and that the parties were in the midst of discovery when Qualcomm’s notice of appeal halted the proceedings.  In addition, Broadcom argued that the CREDO process arising out of the sanctions proceedings was still underway, and that the final CREDO protocol would necessarily be informed by the ongoing sanctions proceedings before the magistrate judge.

In its response to the motion to dismiss, Qualcomm explained that it had filed its notice of appeal in order to avoid the possibility of a waiver of critical appellate rights, and that it welcomed the appellate court’s resolution of uncertainty surrounding jurisdiction.

On August 18, 2008, the Federal Circuit granted Broadcom’s motion and dismissed the appeals(see entry on Disposition Sheet here).  A copy of the order is now available here.

Jurisdiction over the case presumably is now back with the district court, where the CREDO process and discovery regarding attorney sanctions issues will likely resume.

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