Feeds

Judge rules for the Finns in Nokia/InterDigital spat

Verdict could trigger InterDigital licence apocalypse

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.