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Nokia's older mobes infringe IPCom patent – court

Firm: New ones are fine so we don't care

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Nokia has lost a patent dispute with intellectual property firm IPCom in the Mannheim regional court in Germany.

The court ruled that Nokia mobiles were infringing on a patent related to emergency services access, but the Finnish phone firm said the violating phones were all old ones.

"The Mannheim court found that Nokia’s older phones would have infringed the patent. We respectfully disagree with this decision, but almost all of these phones pre-dated the grant of the patent in February 2011 and our products today use different methods," Nokia spokesperson Mark Durrant said in an emailed statement.

"The judgment does not rule whether Nokia's current mobile devices infringe the patent," he said, "The UK High Court ruled in June 2011 that current Nokia products do not infringe patents in this family, which IPCom has also conceded. We will be asking the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court to clarify the Mannheim ruling."

The case is part of ongoing litigation from IPCom in various countries against Nokia, citing patents it snaffled from Bosch back in 2007.

Ever since the firm laid hands on the intellectual property, it has been trying to get licensing fees out of Nokia. The mobile-maker has been busily trying to get some patents invalidated and moaning that others are standards-related and that IPCom is not asking for fair or reasonable fees.

"So far, 61 IPCom patents have been found invalid as granted or conceded as invalid by IPCom," Durrant said. "Nokia believes that IPCom needs to recognise its position and end its unrealistic demands for what remains of this significantly diminished portfolio."

However, Nokia's attempts to sic it to IPCom by complaining that some of its asserted patents are standards-based and therefore should be licensed on FRAND terms failed. The Finnish firm complained to the European Commission about the firm, but the EC closed the investigation after IPCom promised to be FRANDly.

German-based IPCom has also taken smartphone maker HTC to court over its patents, which were originally developed by Bosch for its car telephone systems.

IPCom says that Bosch tried for many years to get licensing fees out of Nokia and sold the patents to it after failing to secure an agreement with the Finnish firm. ®

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