SiRF News

January 16, 2009

SiRF Found to Infringe on Global Locate Patents - Order Issued to Stop Imports

SiRFhomelogo2.gif SiRF is running into more trouble with the courts over the long running patent infringement battles with Broadcom, the parent of Global Locate. The court upheld a previous ruling that SiRF infringed on Global Locate patents - six in all, and is not barring the importation of products with infringing SiRF products in them. Apparently these orders go into effect 60 days after an administrative review period. That should also be enough time to get SiRF to capitulate and cut a deal with Broadcom to license the patents. GPS Makers have moved away from SiRF, a pioneer in super sensitive chipsets, in recent years as they sought cheaper, more diversified supply opportunities.

The six patents that SiRF was found to infringe are United States patents 6,417,801; 6,937,187; 6,606,346; 7,158,080; 6,704,651; and 6,651,000 -- relating to extended ephemeris assistance (Long Term Orbits), calculating time in GPS receivers, enhancing sensitivity in assisted GPS systems, and implementing hardware structures for parallel correlation.

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August 26, 2008

SiRF Says - Hey Don't Leave Us!

SiRF, the makers of the revolutionary SiRFstar III chipset, recently lost a ruling in a patent infringement against its rival Global Locate (a subsidiary of Broadcom). It could spell bad news for the GPS chip giant, because the case isn't over, and it appears that customers have concerns over the strategic choice of sticking with SiRF through this crisis.

SiRF just issued a press release saying, "There is no ban on shipment of SiRF's or our customers' products. In fact, the ITC will not even make any final determination until December after they have finished their investigation including reviewing the ITC Staff's appeal and our appeal."

My thoughts are if SiRF is issuing a press release on this, then they seem to need to convince someone that their future shipments aren't in jeopardy; like the engineers who will design the chips out of new units, or business unit owners who might get pinched if a ruling does in fact come down with some kind of punitive move to limit importation of chips that infringe.

In the end, these things often come right up to the last minute and then get settled for an undisclosed amount and a bunch of patent licensing agreements. Business continues and life goes on. We'll see.

Press Release follows......

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August 8, 2008

SiRF loses Court Battle on Patent Infringement versus Global Locate

SiRF may be in hot water as an International Trade Commission judge just ruled that they infringe on patents held by Global Locate, a wholly owned subsidiary of Broadcom. The final ruling is not knwn, and the outcome and remedies, if needed, are not set, but if this goes against SiRF it could mean trouble in the end for them. The products that are apparently infringing on the Global Locate patents include the now very popular SirfStarIII and SiRFInstant GPS chipsets.

According to MarketWatch, "The six patents that SiRF was found to infringe are United States patents 6,417,801; 6,937,187; 6,606,346; 7,158,080; 6,704,651; 6,651,000 -- relating to extended ephemeris assistance (Long Term Orbits), calculating time in GPS receivers, enhancing sensitivity in assisted GPS systems, and implementing hardware structures for parallel correlation. "

More to come on this one, I am sure......

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

February 15, 2008

SiRF Target of Class Action Lawsuit

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With SiRFs disasterous earnings announcement earlier this month where they announced an 89% earnings drop, there are a bunch of pissed off shareholders and their lawyers. There is now a suit against them and is being filed as a class action lawsuit.

"The Complaint alleges that the defendants' false and misleading statements regarding demand for its products and its acquisition of Centrality Communications, Inc. ("Centrality") in August 6, 2007 caused SiRF stock to trade at artificially inflated levels throughout the Class Period. The Complaint further alleges that, as a direct result of defendants' delayed public revelations in a February 4, 2008 press release concerning the truth about demand for SiRF's products and its actual business prospects, SiRF's stock price tumbled by more than 50% on February 5, 2008."

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February 5, 2008

SiRF Earnings DOWN 89%

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It appears that SiRF has run into pricing pressure. With prices dropping like a stone on the GPS front, and some GPS makers electing to go with other "High Sensitivity Receivers", that are pretty good in my opinion (think TomTom and Garmin). Anyway, SiRF's profits dropped 89%, and today their stock dropped by over 50%. Not good news.

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August 1, 2007

SiRF: Earnings Up and a Deal with Intel


SiRF announced a deal with Intel to work collaboratively in GPS capable electronics. Does everything need to have a GPS chip in it? No, not really, but it certainly wouldn't happen if SiRF was still going it alone, but the Intel deal makes getting much broader inclusion of GPS chips possible.

SiRF also announced their earnings; a 23% increase over year ago. Not bad, as things continued to be hot in the market for GPS navigation systems.

More details on earnings follow...

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June 28, 2007

Q&A with SiRF Founder

DigiTimes has a quick Q&A with SiRF founder Kanwar Chadna that is a quick read. SiRF has help build the GPS industry with their revolutionary SiRF star III chipset and has inspired a lot of followers to jump on the high sensitivity bandwagon. The market is not only there for stand alone personal navigation devices, but also for mobile handsets, which Mr Chadha says "Will explode soon." This is driven by not only consumer demand but wireless company development efforts that are concentrating in this area to make their service a differentiator.

ReadMore at DigiTimes

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June 21, 2007

SiRF Acquires Centrality


SiRF announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Centrality Communications Inc, a leading developer of navigation processor solutions for mobile navigation devices, for a total consideration of $283 million in stock and cash. The deal will bring more power in the mobile chipset area to the GPS chipset capabilities of SiRF.

“SiRF and Centrality have a shared vision of bringing the benefits of location information to mainstream consumers through innovations. We believe that there is a large potential market opportunity for mobile consumer devices with convergence of location, entertainment and wireless communications capabilities,” said Kanwar Chadha, founder and vice president of marketing for SiRF. “Our combined expertise can deliver very powerful end-to-end multifunction location platforms to location-enable a broad range of new devices and services and to help our customers, operators and content partners add more value to their offerings while significantly enhancing the consumer experience.”

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June 6, 2007

SiRF SiRFDiRect - Dead Reckoning

SiRF introduced its SiRFDiRect technology, a portable navigation breakthrough that couples the SiRF star III chipset with acceleration sensors to tell where it's going when GPS signals are blocked. Employing sophisticated algorithms that take advantage of closely coupled GPS and dead-reckoning (DR) sensor measurements, SiRFDiRect technology delivers very high quality positioning, even in the worst GPS signal conditions, without the installation inconvenience and high cost of traditional in-dash navigation systems.

What's this mean to you? Hit a tunnel and your GPS can still tell where you are; breakthrough...

Mio is already talking about deployment of this chip in the press release.

More from the press release below...

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May 17, 2007

SiRF and Openwave Team Up

SiRF announced a strategic relationship with Openwave Systems Inc. to bring the power of location to Web 2.0 mobile applications. The two companies will work together to integrate SiRF’s SiRFstudio location capabilities with Openwave MIDAS, a Mobile AJAX-based application development platform, enabling wireless operators, content publishers, and software developers to easily employ the context of location when creating mobile widgets, rich data services and online idle screen user interfaces on mobile devices. SiRF Technology and Openwave plan to jointly market the combined solution globally to wireless operators and mobile handset and device OEMs, enabling them to create the next-generation of innovative location-based mobile widgets and services for consumer and enterprise market segments.

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May 2, 2007

Global Locate vs SiRF- Complaint Investigation Opened

Global Locate, announced that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, D.C. instituted a patent infringement investigation against SiRF Technology, Inc. and four of its customers: E-TEN Corporation (``E-TEN''), Pharos Science & Applications, Inc. (``Pharos''), MiTAC International Corporation (``MiTAC''), and Mio Technology Limited, USA (``Mio''). The investigation was instituted on the basis of a Complaint filed with the ITC by Global Locate, Inc. against SiRF and the four customers. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain GPS devices and products that infringe patents owned by Global Locate. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders. Administrative Law Judge Robert L. Barton, Jr. will preside over the investigation.

The ITC will investigate allegations that certain SiRF GPS devices, and certain products of E-TEN, Pharos, MiTAC, Mio and other SiRF customers containing SiRF's GPS devices, infringe six (6) Global Locate patents concerning GPS devices and methods and systems for using such devices. Global Locate patents 6,651,000 and 7,158,080 relate to Global Locate's Long Term Orbit (LTO) technology. Global Locate patents 6,417,801, 6,937,187 and 6,704,651 relate to algorithms for achieving fast fixes using only coarse time assistance and for enhancing receiver sensitivity. Global Locate patent 6,606,346 relates to an architecture for efficient parallel correlation in a GPS receiver.

More on Global Locate vs. SiRF

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April 20, 2007

Sirf Earnings Up - Impressive Client List

SiRF reported net revenue in the first quarter of 2007 was $67.3 million, up 28 percent while net income was $2.8 million vs. a loss of $11 million last quarter. "I am pleased with our Q1 results. We recorded strong financial performance in a seasonally weak quarter while strengthening our market leadership across our expanding customer base in a tough competitive environment," said Dr. Michael Canning, President and CEO.


They have an impressive list of clients here (From their Press Release):

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April 4, 2007

SiRF files ITC Complaint against Global Locate

SiRF announced today that the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) has initiated an investigation into the infringement of four SiRF patents by Global Locate GPS chips, associated software and systems, and products containing same.

I am not sure, but would this include the TomTom ONE?

The investigation is based on a complaint filed on February 8, 2007, by SiRF Technology, Inc. The complaint alleges violations of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of Global Locate’s GPS receiver chips, and products containing such chips, that infringe one or more of the following SiRF U.S. patents: 6,304,216; 7,043,363; 7,091,904; and 7,132,980. SiRF is seeking an exclusionary order and a cease and desist order from the ITC to prevent any further importation of the infringing Global Locate chips and products containing such chips.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-596), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The Honorable Robert L. Barton, Jr. is designated as the presiding administrative law judge and will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Barton will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of Section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

SiRF’s filing with the ITC is posted at the following Internet address:

http://edisweb.usitc.gov/edismirror/337-596/Violation/269333/310905/40/81c6e8.pdf.

The full text and images of SiRF’s asserted patents are available at www.uspto.gov.

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March 1, 2007

Garmin Adopting MediaTek GPS Chips?

newgarminlogo.jpgWord has it that Garmin is looking at MediaTek GPS chipsets for some of its GPS units moving forward. This is the second sign that SiRF is taking hits in the market, as TomTom moved its TomTom ONE over to Global Locate chips earlier this year. So as technology catches up and prices drop, it's not a big surprise to see manufacturers look at new suppliers. The price pressure has got to be intense in the GPS world right now, and while the chipset reportedly costs around $10, the map data license costs upwards to $50 per unit. I would imagine that the mapping folks are under pressure too.

Via DigiTimes

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