U.S. appeals court rejects Broadcom's bid for Toyota, Renesas import ban

The Broadcom Limited company logo is shown outside one of their office complexes in Irvine, California, U.S., March 4, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake
  • Federal Circuit affirms decisions by International Trade Commission, patent board
  • ITC declined to ban Toyota infotainment system based on Broadcom claims

(Reuters) - Broadcom Corp on Tuesday lost its combined appeals of U.S. rulings for Toyota Motor Corp, Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp, and others that it had accused of infringing its computer-chip patents.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling by the International Trade Commission that rejected Broadcom's patent claims against Toyota, Renesas, Panasonic Corp, Denso Corp, Pioneer Corp, and others. It also upheld determinations by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board that parts of the patents are invalid.

Broadcom had asked the ITC to ban imports of Toyota vehicles using onboard "infotainment" systems with Renesas chips that allegedly violated patent rights related to Broadcom's "system-on-a-chip" technology.

Broadcom's 2018 ITC complaint said Toyota's Prius, Camry, Highlander, and other models included the infringing systems.

The ITC, which protects U.S. businesses from unfair international trade, found in 2020 that Broadcom failed to show the chips it sought to protect were covered by one of the patents, and that the relevant part of another patent at issue was invalid.

Separately, the patent board invalidated relevant parts of both Broadcom patents based on earlier inventions that had already disclosed their innovations.

A three-judge Federal Circuit panel agreed with both tribunals on Tuesday, finding Broadcom's "system-on-a-chip" did not include a driver outlined in its patent, and affirming the board's invalidity decisions.

The companies and their attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Broadcom has also sued Toyota, Renesas, and others for patent infringement in Texas, in a case that was paused for the ITC proceedings.

The cases are Broadcom Corp v. International Trade Comm'n, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 20-2008; Renesas Electronics Corp v. Broadcom Corp, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Nos. 21-1260 and 21-1362; and Broadcom Corp v. Renesas Electronics Corp, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 21-1511.

For Broadcom: Brian Johnson of Steptoe & Johnson

For Renesas: Brian Matsui and Seth Lloyd of Morrison & Foerster

For Toyota, Panasonic, and Denso: Aaron Fountain, formerly of DLA Piper

For Pioneer: Lora Brzezynski of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Read more:

U.S. ITC says probing Toyota, others in patent infringement case

Broadcom lawsuits accuse Toyota of infringing infotainment system patents

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com