Nokia-Qualcomm Trial Postponed, German Court Favors Nokia

Nokia has been paying hefty royalties to Qualcomm for various patents and the Finnish company wants the rate reduced.
The long-pending court trial between Nokia and Qualcomm was suddenly postponed Wednesday just as the proceedings were about to get underway.

But there was still plenty of action for the firms as a German court ruled that an important Qualcomm patent was invalid and as Qualcomm said its earnings and revenues rose in the second quarter.

The German Federal Patent Court said that the patent was related to the GSM wireless infrastructure. "This is the third court to conclude that Qualcomm's patent claims against Nokia are without merit," Nokia crowed as it announced the German court decision.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm postponed its second quarter financial report until Thursday morning. The San Diego firm's stock surged more than 8% in after hours trading raising hopes that the two firms were working on a settlement that would put their bitter litigation to rest.

Nokia has been paying hefty royalties to Qualcomm for various patents and the Finnish company -- the largest manufacturer of handsets in the world -- wants the rate reduced. Nokia is said to be paying Qualcomm about 5% of the price of various cell phones that use Qualcomm technology. Analysts have estimated that Nokia has been paying Qualcomm about $500 a year for Qualcomm technology.

Most of the world's cell phone service providers have decided to move to LTE (long term evolution) wireless infrastructure for next generation mobile phone service, generally called 4G. Qualcomm resisted the move to LTE but the company still maintains it has substantial intellectual property in LTE and other future wireless technologies.

The story was edited on July 24 to clarify the court preceedings.

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