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August 13, 2009

ITC judge rules in favour of Nokia in InterDigital case

Nokia handsets do not infringe InterDigital’s patents

By CBR Staff Writer

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has delivered an initial decision in favour of Nokia in an action brought against it by InterDigital.

In 2007, InterDigital filed a complaint with the ITC, alleging that Nokia has engaged in an unfair trade practice by selling the handsets for importation into the US. InterDigital alleged that Nokia’s 3G mobile handsets and components infringe on four of its US patents.

The judge found that there is no infringement of the patents and therefore, Nokia is not in violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act.

William Merritt, president and chief executive officer of InterDigital, said: We strongly disagree with the ALJ’s determination with respect to infringement, and we will exercise our right to petition to the Commission for a review of the ID. As the Commission has done in a recent case involving Tessera Technologies, we would hope that the Commission will review the ID and, contrary to the ALJ’s determination, find a Section 337 violation.

The judge’s initial determination is consistent with a previous judgment in the UK that found several InterDigital patents not to be essential to the UMTS mobile standard.

InterDigital said that it has not yet received the full initial determination. However, it intends to submit a petition for review of the initial determination to the full commission.

Ilkka Rahnasto, vice president of Nokia Legal and Intellectual Property, said: We believe this initial determination by the ITC combined with earlier UK court decisions provide a strong indication that the asserted value of InterDigital’s 3G patent portfolio may have been over-estimated.

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Nokia said that the judge’s initial determination will be forwarded to the full commission for review. The Commission is expected to make its final determination by December 14, 2009.

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