A US federal court ruling has cleared the way for wireless chip maker Broadcom to pursue an injunction against rival Qualcomm after a long-running patent dispute.

On Wednesday, Judge James V. Selna of the US District Court for the Southern District of California finalised a federal jury's conclusion in May that Qualcomm wilfully infringed on three of Broadcom's cellular phone baseband patents.

Broadcom will be awarded $19.6 million in compensatory damages. The company said on Friday it will now pursue an injunction to stop Qualcomm from making 3G (third generation) and EVDO (Evolution Data only) cellular chips that infringe on the patents.

Selma originally doubled the damages in light of another court ruling, but later overturned it after a change in federal law. Broadcom could have requested a new trial that would have determined the extent to which Qualcomm wilfully infringed, but the company has declined.

Broadcom attorney David Rosmann said last month that obtaining an injunction was more important than damages.

The suit began back in 2005 and is one of several between Qualcomm and Broadcom, who are battling over the market for mobile-phone chips.