Nokia and Qualcomm end their patent dispute
US chip manufacturer Qualcomm and Nokia have ended their patent dispute. The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer announced in a press release that it would be acquiring licences to enable it to incorporate Qualcomm's patented mobile telephony technology in its mobile phones and in the infrastructure equipment produced by Nokia Siemens Networks. Under the terms of the 15-year agreement, Nokia will make an up-front payment – estimated by the Wall Street Journal to be several hundred million dollars – together with ongoing royalties.
Nokia has agreed to assign ownership of a number of patents to Qualcomm, including patents related to WCDMA, GSM and OFDMA. The Finns have also agreed not to use any of their patents directly against Qualcomm, enabling Qualcomm to integrate Nokia's technology into Qualcomm's chipsets. The press statement goes on to say that the agreement will result in the settlement of all litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia of its complaint to the European Commission. The specific terms of the agreement are confidential.
In March this year, Qualcomm's claims against Nokia for its use of a GSM patent were rejected in the British High Court, although this still left eleven patent suits outstanding. Eight years ago, Nokia and other companies approached the Japanese and European patent offices in a move to get Qualcomm patents declared invalid.
In 2005, Nokia and others filed a complaint with the European Commission claiming that the licensing of patents for 3G mobile wireless devices was anti-competitive. In mid-2006, Qualcomm responded by filing a complaint against Nokia with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), which the ITC rejected. In response to a complaint from Nokia, the German Federal Patent Court recently declared a Qualcomm GSM patent, for improving energy efficiency, invalid.