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Courts dismiss Nokia complaints vs. Qualcomm

Posted: 19 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Qualcomm Nokia patent case? intellectual property rights? IP rights?

Qualcomm Inc. scores another point in its high court battle with Nokia.

Qualcomm has announced that the District Court in The Hague, Netherlands has dismissed a complaint filed by Nokia seeking to limit Qualcomm's intellectual property rights.

"We are very pleased with the recent rulings by the Dutch and German courts in dismissing Nokia's patent exhaustion claims," said Don Rosenberg, executive VP and general counsel of Qualcomm. "This is the second time in as many months that a court in Europe has rejected Nokia's attempts to have a declaration of exhaustion against Qualcomm's patents."

In the action, Nokia sought a declaration from the court that Qualcomm's European patents are exhausted with respect to chips placed on the European market by Texas Instruments in light of the Patent Portfolio Agreement entered into between Qualcomm and TI in 2000.

In dismissing Nokia's complaint, the court has ruled first that it was only accepting jurisdiction as to The Netherlands and not with respect to other European countries. Second, the court concluded that Nokia's complaint was vague and non-specific in failing to adequately allege any particular instances of possible exhaustion regarding any Qualcomm patents used by any specific Nokia products.

Nokia has three months to appeal the court's decision, said Qualcomm.

According to Qualcomm, its agreements with ASIC suppliers include provisions that such agreements are not intended to result in the exhaustion of any of the company's patents, and reserve for Qualcomm the right to seek royalties from handset manufacturers incorporating chips from any such ASIC supplier.

In October, the Regional Court of Mannheim, Germany dismissed similar claims seeking a declaration of patent exhaustion by Nokia. The Mannheim court dismissed Nokia's complaint for lack of admissibility, noting that Nokia lacked a "legal interest" in pursuing such claims. Nokia has until the end of November to appeal that decision, added Qualcomm. In both cases, Nokia is required to pay court costs and Qualcomm's attorney fees for defending the actions.

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