LONDON Qualcomm has, not surprisingly, called Nokia's latest legal action against the chip maker, and allegations that its patents are exhausted for use in Europe, as meritless and simply a manoeuvre by the Finnish handset maker to delay judicial determinations that Nokia's GSM handsets infringe Qualcomm's patents.
On Monday (March 19) Nokia filed complaints in Germany and the Netherlands that Qualcomm's patents are "exhausted in respect of products used in the EU market with a Qualcomm license, in this instance chipsets supplied by Texas Instruments."
It wants the courts to rule on the validity of Qualcomm's patents on phones sold on the continent.
The manoeuverings come just weeks ahead of a deadline of April 9 for the companies to renew a long standing royalties sharing agreement for W-CDMA technology.
Nokia is demanding that royalty fees be reduced and Qualcomm has threatened that if Nokia stops paying fees unilaterally, as it has suggested it may, the U.S. chip maker would immediately start legal action.
On Tuesday (March 20) Qualcomm hit back against the previous day's allegations, suggesting Nokia's accusations are inconsistent with positions previously taken up by the handset maker. It said that Nokia has paid royalties for many years to Qualcomm on CDMA2000 and WCDMA handsets that incorporate chipsets supplied by Texas Instruments.
It adds: "Nokia’s latest contention is also contradicted by Texas Instruments which has publicly acknowledged that its agreement with Qualcomm does not operate explicitly, impliedly and through patent exhaustion to license or exhaust any patents."
Qualcomm has sued Nokia for patent infringement in the U.S., the U.K, Germany, France, Italy and China, and in the U.S. International Trade Commission. In a statement Tuesday (March 20) , the chip maker said : "Seeking to postpone a judgment of infringement against its GSM products, Nokia, in every one of these cases, has sought through legal manoeuvring to delay the trial on the merits and avoid confronting Qualcomm's infringement claims head on."
Qualcomm said it would continue to "aggressively prosecute" its current infringement cases against Nokia to stop the mobile phone maker from infringing its intellectual property rights (IPR) related to GSM/GPRS and EDGE. "Nokia’s continuing disregard for Qualcomm's GSM-related IPR compels [us] to enforce its patents through litigation."
Trials in Qualcomm's patent infringement cases against Nokia in the U.K. and Germany are set for later this year.