Nokia success against InterDigital in patent dispute

06 December 2006

International law firm Bird & Bird has won another key fight for Nokia in its continuing battle against InterDigital Technology Corporation in relation to patents for 3G mobile telephones. In a judgment delivered yesterday, the Court of Appeal in London upheld an earlier judgment of the High Court and found that Nokia was entitled to maintain its attacks against the InterDigital patents.

The main case, brought by Nokia before the Patents Court in London, seeks a declaration from the Court that the manufacture and sale of 3G mobile telephones and infrastructure does not require the infringement of key patents in InterDigital’s 3G portfolio which have been declared essential to ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standard Institute) in relation to the European 3G Standard. Companies in the field of mobile telecoms typically levy licence royalties based on the essential patents in their portfolio. InterDigital applied to strike out Nokia’s claim for a declaration that InterDigital’s patents are not essential, but this application was dismissed by Mr Justice Pumfrey in the High Court in April 2006. Yesterday, a panel of three Lord Justices of Appeal upheld that decision and ruled in Nokia’s favour.

Jane Mutimear, partner in Bird & Bird’s international intellectual property group and Nokia relationship partner said:

“We are obviously delighted that Nokia’s position has yet again been vindicated. This important ruling, which has been keenly awaited by the industry, finally decides that where a company is deciding whether it is appropriate to pay royalties on patents which have been declared essential, it can seek the assistance of the UK Court, with its specialist patent expertise, in order to determine which patents are in fact required in order to manufacture to an industry standard”.

The main case continues with a six week trial due to take place in October 2007.

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Notes to Editors

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