Nokia, the world’s largest cellphone manufacturer, is being sued by Qualcomm, a U.S. chipmaker, over two technology patents held by Qualcomm. The lawsuit is scheduled to begin today in the British High Court.
Qualcomm is asking the court for an injunction that will stop Nokia from selling products in Britain that use the patents in dispute. Nokia is denying that any of its products infringe on Qualcomm patents. It is unclear what Nokia products will be affected if the British High Court grants Qualcomm its request for an injunction.
Qualcomm has filed similar suits against Nokia in the Untied States, Germany, France, Italy, and China. None of these cases has reached a verdict or settlement.
“Nokia is confident the facts and the evidence presented at trial will clearly and definitively demonstrate that Qualcomm’s alleged GSM patents are invalid and not infringed,” Nokia spokeswoman Anne Eckert said.
The two companies failed to renew a key technology licensing pact that expired on April 9 of this year. Ever since, the legal complaints and answers from the two have been papering courtrooms around the world. It is estimated that Nokia pays Qualcomm around $500 million annually for its patents.
It looks as though Nokia is willing to play legal hardball in its attempts to lower the amount of money it pays Qualcomm for the right to use the patented technology. If it wins the suits, Nokia won’t have to pay anything for them. This threat may be enough of an enticement to get Qualcomm to negotiate on a new agreement that could save Nokia millions in patent use fees. If Qualcomm wins the suits, Nokia might be out some money for legal fees but then it is back to business as usual. The courts shouldn’t award Qualcomm more for their patents than Nokia has paid in the past.