Feeds

Judge rules for the Finns in Nokia/InterDigital spat

Verdict could trigger InterDigital licence apocalypse

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.