Qualcomm sues Nokia in UK

Qualcomm claims Nokia resisted coming to an agreement and 'talked trash' about the company

Chipmaker and mobile technology licensing company Qualcomm has unleashed the lawyers on Nokia, accusing the world's largest handset maker of patent infringement.

The suit has been filed in the Patents Court of the High Court of England and Wales and alleges Nokia has infringed Qualcomm's intellectual property "in relation to mobile devices which are capable of operating in accordance with the GPRS and/or EDGE standards but not having a capability to operate with CDMA technology". CDMA phones are covered by a separate licensing agreement.

Qualcomm is now seeking an injunction against Nokia and damages for the phones that it has sold using the patents at issue. Nokia's licence for the patents will expire in April 2007.

Qualcomm's president for Europe, Andrew Gilbert, said the company had decided to file suit against Nokia, which sells one in every three of the world's mobiles, because the handset company was resisting Qualcomm's overtures to discuss licensing.

Gilbert told ZDNet UK sister site Silicon.com: "This is really about Nokia resisting resolving commercial negotiations amicably. We've been making ourselves available for negotiations for a long, long time. All we're asking is for Nokia to come back to the table."

He added that Nokia has been trash-talking the company.

Gilbert said: "People like Nokia like to put it about we're a marginal player... Through their constant public pronouncements they have called into question the veracity of much of our intellectual property portfolio. They left us no choice."

Nokia declined to comment.

The suit represents a geographical extension of one already filed by Qualcomm in the US late last year, alleging Nokia has infringed patents pertaining to EDGE, GPRS and GSM mobile technologies.

Nokia in turn was one of a number of companies which complained to the EU accusing Qualcomm of anti-competitive behaviour.