Nokia, Qualcomm head to court this week over CDMA patents

The simmering battle between Qualcomm and Nokia is heating up again as the two technology giants head to court on Wednesday to determine whether Qualcomm's charges of royalties for CDMA are too high. While the trial won't likely settle the dispute the two have over a patent agreement that expired in April 2007 pertaining to royalties Qualcomm charges for WCDMA chips, it could offer the winner of this trial some leverage in that dispute.

At issue on Wednesday in a Delaware court is whether, as Nokia contends, Qualcomm forfeited its right to seek injunctions in lawsuits to enforce patents because it promised European standards-setting bodies to license its patents under fair and nondiscriminatory terms. Nokia also claims that it is paid up on Qualcomm's key patents while the rest should be valued much less when taking Nokia's own patents into consideration.

Of course, Qualcomm says Nokia is wrong about the worth of those other patents and its "fair and nondiscriminatory" agreement with standards bodies. It contends that Nokia extended their existing license agreement by default by using Qualcomm inventions after the agreement expired.

Vendors have long grumbled about the amount of royalties Qualcomm charges for CDMA-based patents. Nokia and Qualcomm have been filing a number of lawsuits in the U.S. and Europe against each other over patents since 2005.

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