LONDON Nokia and Qualcomm Inc. will again go eyeball-to-eyeball over their bitter and long-protracted patent and licensing dispute in a Delaware Court beginning Wednesday (July 23) , and this time the case will be televised by Courtroom View Network via Webcast.
Sources said the service will be available at a charge beginning at $400 and that financial institutions including hedge funds have been signing up for the service. The proceedings will be available online for 30 days for subscribers.
The case is based on a 1992 licensing agreement that allowed Nokia to use Qualcomm's patents in its handsets. That license expired on April 9, 2007 after Nokia paid Qualcomm $1 billion in fees and considered it to be paid up. It has ceased paying Qualcomm and has put some funds aside pending the outcome of the latest court battle, which some expect to last at least a year.
Qualcomm is asking the Delaware Court of Chancery, which hears business disputes, to rule that Nokia extended that agreement by continuing to buy its patented products on the same terms.
Nokia says that under the deal between the two companies the cross-licensing agreement can only be extended in writing.
The Finnish handset maker is seeking to prevent Qualcomm from imposing on it the licensing terms of what it maintains is an expired agreement and that it will argue is based on a vague allegation of use of patents that have never been identified.
Nokia has also argued that Qualcomm's patents have declined in value as technology has advanced.
Five other lawsuits between Nokia and Qualcomm have been stayed pending the result of the Delaware suit. Four others were recently concluded; Qualcomm won two and Nokia won two.
Furthermore, the European Commission opened an investigation last October into charges that Qualcomm has overcharged customers.
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