Feeds

IPCom's 'priority call' patent ruled too broad, world+dog faints

Nokia quickly chucks mobes back on shelves

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A patent that allows network operators to prioritise police calls over everyday network traffic is too broad to be valid, the European Patent Office ruled yesterday.

The judgment is a blow for the patent-holder – German firm IPCom - but will be a relief for beleaguered phone giant Nokia.

IPCom has been hounding Nokia through the courts in the UK and Germany for infringing on the telecoms patent #100a.

The hotly contested patent describes an algorithm that allows mobile telephone networks to prioritise users on the basis of a pre-defined hierarchy. So in emergencies, for example, police calls can get precedence over civilian calls. The patent was developed by Bosch in the '90s for their car telephony systems, but sold off to IPCom in 2007. [PDF]

IPCom won a ruling against Nokia in a Dusseldorf court yesterday over the patent, in Mannheim the week before and another in the UK in June 2011. IPCom is also suing Taiwanese phone-maker HTC for the same patent.

But the patent office revision could change the outcome of the legal battles. In the hours after the ruling in Munich, Nokia issued a bullish statement: "The EPO's decision means that yesterday's ruling from the Dusseldorf Court is not expected to stop the sales of Nokia products in Germany."

Paul Melin, vice president of Intellectual Property at Nokia, said:

We are pleased that the European Patent Office has confirmed that this IPCom patent is invalid. So far, of 62 IPCom patents that have come to judgment, none has been found valid as granted. IPCom needs to recognise its position and end its unrealistic demands for what remains of this significantly diminished portfolio.

IPCom said it would appeal the European Patent Office decision immediately, and stressed that the patent will remain in effect until the European Patent Office makes a final decision. IPCom pointed out that only one feature of Patent #100A (EP 1 841 268) had been ruled as being too broad.

Consequently, IPCom claims that its patent suits stand:

Today’s judgment does not impact the successful rulings regarding infringement proceeding against Nokia and HTC in Germany and UK. Furthermore, as Patent #100A currently remains in effect, today’s ruling has no impact on the already-initiated cease and desist orders against HTC.

®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.