You've got to love the Jedi mind tricks that PR folks like to use in media releases. Had investors just perused the headlines about the latest ruling in the legal skirmish between Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), they might have come away with two different conclusions.

"Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Grants Stay ..." is the way Qualcomm's release starts. But Broadcom opens with "U.S. Appeals Court Denies Qualcomm Request to Stay ... " So did Qualcomm finally win one here, or take another bruising?

As with most things, the devil's in the details (though there's no Sith Lord at work here, just different aspects of the same ruling). Qualcomm earned a significant victory in the latest ruling, but the ban on its chips remained in effect, as Broadcom notes in its press release.

Federal Appeals Court Judge Haldane Mayer relieved seven of Qualcomm's customers and carrier partners from the burden of the ban, effectively allowing them to import wireless phones and devices containing Qualcomm's infringing chips. This will make the group -- comprising Kyocera, Motorola (NYSE:MOT), Samsung, Sanyo, LG Electronics, AT&T (NYSE:T), and T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom -- very happy. They will now be able to import all those great new wireless gadgets consumers are hoping to scoop up this holiday season.

While Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is not included in the latest ruling, the company is working with Qualcomm on a software workaround to sidestep the ban. And Verizon Wireless already committed up to $200 million to Broadcom in a license that exempts its products. The last major carrier left out is Alltel (NYSE:AT), which may end up being the mystery carrier that signed an undisclosed license with Broadcom mentioned by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab last month, when she upheld the ban by the International Trade Commission.

If this latest ruling holds, it would mean that pretty much all the teeth have been pulled from the "downstream" remedy Broadcom sought to increase pressure on Qualcomm, in hopes of settling its patent license dispute. But Qualcomm is still handicapped by having its banned chipsets effectively blacklisted from new designs, which may be behind Motorola's recent move to focus new designs on alternative suppliers such as Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) instead. So while Qualcomm can claim victory in this round of the battle, it hasn't emerged unscathed.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock thinks Republic credits will do just fine. He owns shares of Motorola and Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Like Master Yoda, the Fool's disclosure policy can detect disturbances in the Force.