Feeds

Judge rules for the Finns in Nokia/InterDigital spat

Verdict could trigger InterDigital licence apocalypse

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A US International Trade Commission judge has ruled that Nokia is not infringing four disputed patents owned by InterDigital, paving the way for the Finns to walk away from the lengthy spat come December.

The ruling is an Initial Determination that won't be confirmed until December. But it is a win for Nokia in the long running dispute, that has seen last-minute deals and an English High Court hearing in amongst strong words and various proclamations of imminent victory.

InterDigital owns various patents pertinent to wireless communications, some of which the company claims are essential to the production of 3G handsets, but most of which have been contended over the years. Samsung paid off InterDigital back in November last year, but that followed InterDigital's failed attempts to get Samsung handsets banned from import into the US on the basis of patent ownership.

This battle with Nokia goes back to 2005, with Nokia's pre-emptive strike against InterDigital ending up in the English Courts in an action that saw 31 disputed patents reduced to four, and an undisclosed sum changing hands (from the Finns to InterDigital) to close the UK action in December 2007.

But four months earlier InterDigital had already started moving the theatre of operations into the US, with a complaint to the International Trade Commission (ITC) calling for Nokia's 3G handsets to be blocked from import there. That complaint triggered an investigation, on which the judge ruled on Friday last week.

The Initial Determination is one that InterDigital will contest, but it clearly has InterDigital's CEO rattled, as he was quick try and reassure investors.

"While we are disappointed with the [judge's] determination, the patents asserted in this case represent a very small fraction of our total 3G portfolio", he stated.

Or, as Nokia puts it: "We believe this initial determination by the ITC, combined with earlier UK court decisions, provide a strong indication that the asserted value of InterDigital's 3G patent portfolio may have been overestimated".

The final ruling won't come until December 14, and InterDigital will fight all the way, pointing out that much of the 3G industry is already paying them for licences. But it is hard to imagine that many of those companies will renew their contracts if Nokia wins this case. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.