ITC sides with Nokia over Qualcomm

Qualcomm‘s bid to block some Nokia phone models from the North American market has suffered another blow, according to Nokia.

A December decision against Qualcomm’s bid to keep some Nokia phones out of the U.S. will stand, Nokia said Wednesday.

Administrative Law Judge Paul Luckern of the U.S. International Trade Commission made an initial determination in Nokia’s favour on Dec. 12, in a case involving alleged patent infringement. The ITC has decided it doesn’t need to review that decision, Nokia said in a statement.

Qualcomm will now decide whether to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, according to a statement from the chip maker on Wednesday.

Qualcomm brought the ITC complaint against Nokia in June 2006, alleging patent infringement in handsets that use GSM/GPRS/EDGE (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service/Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution). The allegations involved power control systems. As part of the suit, it asked the ITC to ban importation of the phones.

In the Dec. 12 initial determination, an ITC judge found no infringement and ruled one of Qualcomm’s patents invalid, according to Nokia. Afterward, Qualcomm said it planned to petition the ITC to review the finding. A final decision had not been scheduled to occur until April 14.

In an ongoing legal battle that Nokia claims is connected to the expiration of a cross-licensing agreement last year, Qualcomm has filed 11 patent infringement suits against Nokia over the past few years, according to Nokia. In December, Nokia Chief Financial Officer Rick Simonson said talks on the cross-licensing agreement were continuing.

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