Sunday, November 6, 2005

QUALCOMM Files GSM Patent Infringement Suit Against Nokia

QUALCOMM and its wholly owned subsidiary, SnapTrack, filed suit against Nokia in U.S. federal court in San Diego for infringement of eleven of QUALCOMM's patents and one patent owned by SnapTrack.

QUALCOMM's lawsuit includes patents that are essential for the manufacture or use of equipment that complies with the GSM, GPRS and EDGE cellular standards (the GSM family of standards) and other patents. QUALCOMM's complaint states that Nokia is infringing QUALCOMM's patents by making or selling products in the United States that comply with the GSM family of standards.

QUALCOMM said the evolution of GSM -- first GPRS and later EDGE -- leveraged patented innovations developed by QUALCOMM originally for use in CDMA systems to: achieve higher data rates, increase spectral efficiency, enhance capacity, improve resistance to interference, permit access to packet switched networks, and facilitate multimedia distribution.

Six of the patents in QUALCOMM's complaint against Nokia were also asserted in the complaint that QUALCOMM filed against Broadcom Corporation on July 11, 2005.

"We have been discussing a number of issues with Nokia for some time, including the fact that we have essential GSM patents for which Nokia is not licensed, and we are disappointed that this has resulted in litigation," said Louis M. Lupin, senior vice president and general counsel of QUALCOMM.

In response, Nokia issued a statement saying it had yet to see the complaint. Nokia also said that QUALCOMM had yet to engage in any licensing negotiations concerning these matters: "With respect to the patents alleged to be essential to the GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, QUALCOMM has a duty to license those patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. QUALCOMM has not provided Nokia with any proposed terms for a license in compliance with its obligations."

  • Last week, Broadcom, Ericsson, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Texas Instruments announced that have each filed complaints to the European Commission requesting that it investigate anti-competitive conduct by Qualcomm in the licensing of essential patents for 3G mobile technology.

    The companies state that QUALCOMM is violating EU competition law and failing to meet the commitments Qualcomm made to international standard bodies around the world that it would license its technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

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