LONDON In the latest twist to the long running patent disputes between Nokia and Qualcomm Inc., the Finnish phone maker said Thursday (April 5) it is paying Qualcomm $20 million for patent licenses covering the second quarter 2007.
However, Nokia stressed the current deal does not extend, and is not related to, the old agreement. Rather, it is based on the licenses that Qualcomm has agreed and provided through the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute (ETSI).
The companies have had patent license agreements since 1992 and Nokia's obligations to pay license fees under the old agreements partially expire on April 9, 2007. However, they have also been fighting each other in courts around the world over the past few years about the validity and charges for their respective intellectual property.
So far they have not managed to find a resolution to the spat over the patents, set to expire on 9 April.
"As we continue to negotiate the new cross-license agreement, Nokia views this payment as fair and reasonable compensation for the use of relevant Qualcomm essential patents in Nokia UMTS handsets during the second quarter of 2007," said Rick Simonson, chief financial officer, Nokia, in a statement.
Simonsen added Qualcomm's patent portfolio is concentrated in the U.S., and that it has few or no alleged UMTS patents in many of the countries in which Nokia has substantial UMTS handset sales.
"When Qualcomm's early patents become paid-up and royalty-free on April 9, 2007 Qualcomm's share of all patents relevant to Nokia UMTS handsets will significantly decrease", said Simonson.
He repeated the Finnish group's long-held stance that "as of April 9, 2007, Qualcomm's entire chipset business becomes exposed to Nokia's extensive GSM, WCDMA and CDMA patent portfolios and Nokia will use all rights from those portfolios when defending itself against any new Qualcomm litigation."