Qualcomm wins appeal in $173 million ParkerVision case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld a lower court’s decision to clear Qualcomm Inc in a patent lawsuit by wireless chip developer ParkerVision Inc, allowing it to escape a $173 million verdict for infringement.

A shadow is cast near a Qualcomm logo at the 2015 Computex exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the District of Columbia also ruled that nearly all of the patents ParkerVision used to sue Qualcomm are invalid.

ParkerVision shares were down 26 percent to 34 cents on the Nasdaq. Morning trading been halted after the price fell 50 percent.

“We are highly disappointed with the appellate court’s decision,” ParkerVision Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Parker said in a statement. He said the company will consider further options on appeal.

ParkerVision, a Jacksonville, Florida-based company with no reported revenue, had accused Qualcomm of infringing its patents beginning in 2006 over a means to convert radio frequency signals, and incorporating its technology in products sold for use in mobile devices such as smartphones.

In June, 2014, a federal judge in Florida overturned a jury verdict that had ordered Qualcomm to pay ParkerVision $173 million for infringing its patented technology, saying there was not enough evidence for the jury to find Qualcomm liable.

On Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed that ruling. The court also canceled three of the ParkerVision patents in the case, and all but one element of the fourth.

ParkerVision also has a separate lawsuit against Qualcomm and HTC Corp over other patents that relate to radio frequency transmitters. The company said on Friday it will move forward with that case.

A spokesman for San Diego-based Qualcomm could not be reached. The company’s stock was up slightly at $64.69.

The case is ParkerVision, Inc v. Qualcomm Inc, in the Federal Circuit, No. 14-1612.

Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama