There’s a ban going on preventing import in the US of cell phones based on some Qualcomm 3G patents.
This is a power-saving (software) related patent, by the way.
In some sense, Qualcomm, who is by no way stranger to patent wars, only reap the whirlwind it helped sewed.
But frankly, I find hard to distinguish between alleged “IP” (legally enforced monopoly) protection and plain archaic protectionism in that case. US consumers won’t be able to get access to world top-class cell phones, while the so-called “broadband” access they get is already notoriously lagging behind that of Europe and Asia (more on this, and the OECD full report). And I don’t mention IPTV. The US brought the Internet to the world, but one may wonder what role this IP obsession is playing in the rather slow rythm of telecommunications technology penetration there.