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Qualcomm Sues Nokia As 3G Mobile Patent War Escalates

In a patent-infringement suit filed in U.S. federal court, Qualcomm alleges that Nokia is infringing on 11 of its patents in addition to one owned by its SnapTrack unit.

The war over 3G mobile phone patents has escalated, as Qualcomm, which holds a robust intellectual property war chest, reported Monday that it has filed a patent infringement suit against Nokia in U.S. federal court in San Diego.

The suit, the latest in widening patents litigation involving Qualcomm, was filed as the world’s cell phone service providers are moving from 2G networks to 3G, which will introduce heavier data services.

Qualcomm said Nokia is infringing on 11 of its patents in addition to one owned by its SnapTrack unit.

“Nokia’s GSM, GPRS and EDGE standards-compliant products unavoidably infringe Qualcomm’s patents surrounding these inventions that have become essential to the GSM family of standards,” Qualcomm stated in an announcement.

Qualcomm explained its position in part by stating: “These evolutions of GSM -- first GPRS and later EDGE -- have adopted patented innovations developed by Qualcomm originally for use in CDMA systems to: achieve higher data rates, increase spectral efficiency, enhance capacity, improve resistance to interference, permit access to packet switched networks, and facilitate multimedia distribution.”

Qualcomm has a patent portfolio consisting of more than 4,000 U.S. patents and patent applications as well as more than 20,000 patents and applications around the globe.

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