Nokia fights back after losing UK patent ruling

The ruling by a UK High Court that Nokia has infringed upon patents owned by IPCom is being questioned by the giant handset maker. Nokia said that recent statements made by IPCom in the wake of the ruling indicate a "severe misunderstanding" of the legal ruling.

According to IPCom, Nokia is infringing on patents it owns that allow mobile networks to assign priorities to 3G handsets users. The decision by the UK High Court, claims IPCom, enables it to seek damages and halt the sale of Nokia 3G handsets within the UK.

"As far as we know, this is the first time that an essential telecoms 3G patent was ever upheld and judged infringed in the UK, a jurisdiction well-known for being very demanding for patent holders," Bernhard Frohwitter, IPCom's managing director, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

But Nokia rejected IPCom's assessment claiming that its company's current handsets don't infringe the IPCom patent. "We are pleased that the UK High Court declared that Nokia's current products do not infringe the patent," Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant told Bloomberg. "This means that we can continue selling those products with legal certainty."

Nokia said in a statement to the site thinq that the court "ruled that Nokia devices, no longer on sale, which had older software versions (A1 & A2) infringed the amended patent but that newer versions B-G, incorporating our workarounds, did not infringe the amended patent."

"As our current products do not infringe the amended patent, there can be no injunction against them and we can continue selling those products. We will appeal part the court's judgement," said Durrant.

In response, IPCom dismissed Nokia's understanding of the ruling, claiming the two infringing devices are still part of the handset vendor's product portfolio. IPCom, which has been in dispute with Nokia for some years, acquired the patents in 2007 from the giant automotive supplier Bosch after Nokia failed to license them in 2003 from the German component manufacturer.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this ITPro Portal article

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