US judge stops Nokia, Qualcomm legal proceedings

A judge has halted legal proceedings in one of Qualcomm's complaints that Nokia violated its wireless-technology patents, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the move came as a deadline neared for the two companies to renew a high-stakes licensing agreement.

Administrative Law Judge Robert L. Barton Jr. of the US International Trade Commission gave no explanation for the indefinite delay in his two-sentence written order, the Associated Press report said.

The report said a trial in the patent dispute had been scheduled to begin March 5. The delay came six weeks before a key licensing agreement expires between Nokia, the world's largest cell phone maker, and Qualcomm, a semiconductor maker that has been enormously successful at licensing its technology.

Neither company indicated that the delay signaled a possible settlement of any of their numerous legal and trade complaints or progress toward renewal of their licensing agreement, which expires April 9, the report further said.