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Nokia fails to get a 3G patent thrown out

Vows to fight on
Thu Jun 16 2011, 20:01

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia lost a UK court action to invalidate a European patent that its holders claim is vital to Nokia's handsets.

Nokia, which seemingly only deals in bad news these days, lost its bid to throw out a patent held by IPCom GmbH & Co that covers technology for allowing handsets to connect to a 3G network. Judge Christopher Floyd upheld IPCom's patent, meaning that the handset maker will have to pay up.

Judge Floyd's decision led to Nokia's shares falling by over three per cent to a 13-year low, however a very faint silver lining appeared with Judge Floyd ruling that a third Nokia device did not infringe IPCom's patents. IPCom was bullish after the verdict saying it will hurt Nokia's UK sales.

Bernhard Frohwitter, IPCom's managing director told journalists, "As far as we know, this is the first time that an essential telecoms 3G patent was ever upheld and judged infringed in the UK, a jurisdiction well-known for being very demanding for patent holders."

Nokia on the other hand told Bloomberg that the firm would appeal the decision, seeing the ruling in a completely different light. "We are pleased that the UK High Court declared that Nokia's current products do not infringe the patent. This means that we can continue selling those products, now with legal certainty."

IPCom labeled Nokia's seemingly opposite view on the ruling "misleading". Frohwitter told Bloomberg, "Nokia is clearly misleading the public on what the court ruled today, IPCom is ready to enforce the UK ruling."

IPCom might want to enforce the patents but it's looking like Nokia will fight tooth and nail before it hands over any cash. µ


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