Judge halts Apple-Nokia patent spat, for now

A federal judge in Delaware has put competing patent-infringement claims between Apple and Nokia on hold while the U.S. International Trade Commission tries to resolve the dispute.

The order staying the proceedings covers both Nokia's claims and Apple's counterclaims, and means that nothing further will happen until the ITC makes a decision on whether to ban U.S. imports of products from either company. Nokia started the round-robin of litigation in October by claiming that Apple's iPhone infringed on 10 Nokia patents. Apple countersued in December, arguing Nokia was infringing on 13 of its patents.

The ITC has since said it will investigate the claims of both companies. The trade commission has not said when it will rule on the Apple-Nokia spat, but the investigation could take as long as 15 months. Indeed, the ITC has become the battleground for a range of bitter, long-running disputes in the wireless industry, including the now-resolved patent disagreement between Qualcomm and Broadcom.

In the meantime, Apple has been busy in the courtroom on other fronts. Earlier this week it sued smartphone maker HTC, claiming the company's phones that run Google's Android platform infringe on its patents.

For more:
- see this AP article

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