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Qualcomm, Nokia fight over patents

Wireless technology firm Qualcomm Inc said on Monday it had filed a complaint against mobile maker Nokia.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 10:19 IST

Wireless technology firm Qualcomm Inc said on Monday it had filed a complaint against mobile maker Nokia

Qualcomm's stock fell almost 3 per cent after the news. Qualcomm accused Nokia, the world's biggest maker of handsets, of infringing six patents related to GSM, the most popular mobile phone system around the world.

Nokia said in a statement it would respond "as necessary" to the third legal action Qualcomm had taken against it in the last eight months.

Qualcomm's complaint to the United States International Trade Commission asked for a ban on the import and sale of some Nokia products, which it said included technology that infringed its patents.

Qualcomm expects the ITC investigation to start in July and for the case to be heard in the first half of next year.

Qualcomm's shares were down $1.19, or 2.74 per cent, at $42.25 in early afternoon trade on Nasdaq. Nokia's shares were down 31 cents, or more than 1 percent, at $19.76 on the NYSE.

"So much of Qualcomm's business is tied up in royalties that if the litigation starts casting uncertainty over the future investors start getting skittish," Ed Snyder of Charter Equity Research said.

Nokia said it believed the patents in the latest action were covered by a prior license agreement. The two parties are currently in negotiations about extending that agreement, which is due to expire next April.

"These repetitive legal actions, over GSM technologies that have been in the market for many years, reflect Qualcomm's concern over the current 3G UMTS patent negotiations," Nokia said.

The Finnish firm added that it believed it had a very strong position in the standard for UMTS, a third-generation mobile communications system.

Nokia and Qualcomm have an acrimonious history over technology licensing and patent infringement cases. Nokia is one of a group of companies that complained last year to European regulators about Qualcomm's competitive practices.

Qualcomm said last month it had filed a suit against Nokia alleging it had infringed on two patents in Britain.