Initial Ruling Says Nokia Didn't Violate Qualcomm Patents

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Includes: NOK, QCOM
by: Jonathan Liss

Shares of both Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) were lower Thursday after an administrative law judge released his initial determination [ID] in a patent infringement case filed by Qualcomm against Nokia in June 2006 with the International Trade Commission [ITC] in favor of Nokia. Judge Paul Luckern found "inter alia that there is jurisdiction and that there is no violation" on the part of Nokia with regards to its GSM/GPRS/EDGE-only handsets. Qualcomm’s latest legal setback gives Nokia the upper hand in negotiations over the rights to use Qualcomm's technology for advanced, third-generation [3G] phones, though it didn’t address 3G patent technologies directly. Talks broke off several months ago with the two sides far from a resolution. While Wednesday’s legal decision is unlikely to restart talks immediately – Qualcomm has stated it will appeal the ID – it puts the two companies on the road to an eventual settlement. The ITC’s final decision is scheduled for no later than April 14. Qualcomm said its latest legal setback was a minor one since it doesn’t address Qualcomm's ‘3G’ products, which it also contends Nokia is using unlawfully.

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