Qualcomm, Nokia end long-standing patent disputes
The many bitter patent disputes between Qualcomm and Nokia have finally ended. The two telecom giants announced they have entered into a new 15-year patent agreement that effectively settles all litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia of its complaint to the European Commission and numerous lawsuits filed in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Nokia filed a complaint with the EC in October 2005 with five other companies, which led to a flurry of lawsuits between Qualcomm and its rivals and several regulatory probes into Qualcomm's licensing practices. The two were also miles apart for some time when it came to renegotiating a new license agreement that expired in April 2007.
The new deal comes on the day Qualcomm and Nokia were to appear in a Delaware court to begin a key trial over WCDMA patents, but the judge had delayed the trial by a day. Nokia claimed Qualcomm charges too much for the patents. Nokia now has been granted a license under all of Qualcomm's patents for use in Nokia mobile devices and Nokia Siemens Networks infrastructure equipment. The agreement covers a number of technology standards, including GSM, EDGe, CDMA, WCDMA, HSDPA, OFDM, WiMAX, LTE and others. Nokia also agreed not to use any of its patents directly against Qualcomm, enabling Qualcomm to integrate Nokia's technology into Qualcomm's chipsets.
The financial structure of the settlement includes an up-front payment and on-going royalties payable to Qualcomm. Nokia has agreed to assign ownership of a number of patents to Qualcomm, including patents declared as essential to WCDMA, GSM and OFDMA. The specific terms, however, are confidential.
Qualcomm investors breathed a sigh of relief, pushing the company's shares up 18.7 percent in after-hours trading.
Qualcomm delayed the release of its fiscal third-quarter results for several hours to announce the agreement with Nokia. The company's profits fell 6 percent to $748 million, or 45 cents a share, for the three months ended June 29, down from $798 million, or 47 cents a share, the previous year. Revenue grew 19 percent to $2.76 billion from $2.33 billion.
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