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US court brings InterDigital patent spat back from the dead

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A US appeals court has brought an InterDigital patent gripe against Nokia back to life today, three years after the International Trade Commission kicked it to the kerb.

InterDigital lodged its appeal after the ITC decided that Nokia wasn't infringing on four of its patents back in 2009. InterDigital claims some of its intellectual property is essential for 3G phones and wanted Nokia to cough up.

The appeals court kicked the case back to the ITC because it said that the commission had made some mistakes in interpreting some of the claim terms in the patents.

"We are pleased with the Court's decision, which we believe confirms the strength of InterDigital's wireless research contributions and the applicability of our patents to 3G technology," William Merritt, president and chief at InterDigital, said in a canned statement.

"This ruling represents a significant step towards our stated goal of achieving $800m in sustainable annual revenue from licensing in the next three to five years," he added, getting straight to the point.

Both Nokia and the commission can petition to get the appeals court to hear the case again, but if they don't or they don't win, the case will go back to the ITC to be decided all over again. That means that InterDigital can once more seek an import ban on Nokia's 3G WCDMA handsets. ®

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