RealTime IT News

Nokia Takes Qualcomm Patent Beef to ITC

Qualcomm's legal problems continued to pile up today as bitter legal foe Nokia is seeking an International Trade Commission (ITC) ban on the U.S. import of certain Qualcomm mobile chips, chipsets and handsets.

According to Nokia, Qualcomm infringes on five Nokia patents in its CDMA and WCDMA/GSM chipsets. The Finnish handset maker claims Qualcomm engages in unfair trade practices by importing or selling products that allegedly infringe on Nokia's patents.

"There is significant evidence to warrant an ITC investigation into Qualcomm's business conduct," Rick Simonson, Nokia's CFO, said in a statement. "We are taking this action to stop Qualcomm's practice of copying Nokia's patented technology, without permission, and making these innovations available to its chipset customers."

The San Diego-based Qualcomm is already facing an ITC order banning the import of Qualcomm future 3G mobile broadband handset models and cell phones in a separate legal action by rival Broadcom.

The Nokia complaint is only the latest in a long-running patent-infringement legal battle between the two companies. A June lawsuit accuses Qualcomm of infringing six patents in Nokia's MediaFlo mobile TV and Brew mobile data portfolio.

The lawsuit is in response to a Qualcomm lawsuit filed in April claiming that certain Nokia phones infringe on Qualcomm patents.

In addition to that litigation, Qualcomm has previously filed two other patent-infringement lawsuits against Nokia's GSM/GPRS/EDGE cellular phones in the United States, and has similar cases pending in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and China.

Last year, Qualcomm sought an ITC ban of some Nokia products, a procedure that was stayed by an administrative law judge.

"We are seeking the same remedies Qualcomm has sought against Nokia in multiple venues around the world," Simonson said. "Nokia will continue to ensure its rights and competitive advantage is protected."

Qualcomm had no comment on Nokia's ITC filing.

In the ITC case brought by Broadcom, the trade agency determined that Qualcomm infringed on Broadcom patents related to power-saving technology.

The ITC banned Qualcomm chips and chipsets used in handheld wireless communications devices, including cellular telephone handsets that operate on EV-DO and WCDMA networks used by Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile USA. Police, fire and other first responders also use equipment with Qualcomm chips.

The order does not apply to existing handheld wireless communications devices that were being imported for sale to the general public on or before June 7.

Qualcomm is challenging the ITC ruling.