RealTime IT News

Qualcomm Throws Nokia's $20M Back in Its Face

Wireless chipmaker Qualcomm  today rejected the $20 million check that Nokia  sent last week in a bid to resolve their protracted patent dispute.

Qualcomm said in a statement that the $20 million represents only "a fraction of the royalty to which Nokia [previously] agreed."

Qualcomm added that both the payment, and the terms upon which it said Nokia conditioned the payment, violate the terms of a 2001 agreement between the companies.

A cross-licensing agreement between the two companies expired on Monday and, while the companies have continued to negotiate, they have traded lawsuits and binding arbitration claims with increasing frequency over the last few weeks as the deadline approached and passed.

Nokia relies on intellectual property (IP) developed by Qualcomm for some of the features available on its phones.

The Finnish cell phone maker also developed IP around advanced data and video transmission for so-called third-generation cell phones, and claims that these developments diminish the importance of the earlier IP developed by Qualcomm.

Qualcomm, for its part, maintains that Nokia should continue paying the same royalty rates for its IP as long as the handset maker continues using it.

Last week, Qualcomm asked an arbitrator to rule that Nokia, by continuing to use CDMA  technology after the April 9 deadline had passed, is tacitly electing to continue paying the same royalty rate for the IP as it had been prior to April 9.

Nokia spokesman Bill Plummer confirmed that the companies are continuing to negotiate an extension or renegotiation of that agreement in a conversation with internetnews.com yesterday. He said that companies often negotiate past deadlines and reiterated that Nokia "remains committed to meaningful and rational negotiations."

Qualcomm sued Nokia in two different U.S. jurisdictions earlier this month, and Nokia accused Qualcomm of engaging in "serial litigation."

But that suit came two weeks after Nokia attacked Qualcomm in European courts for double-dipping on royalties.