Nokia and Qualcomm Go to War

Dennis Faas's picture

Nokia Corp., the world's largest mobile phone maker, is asking the United States to stop importing all chipsets made by Qualcomm Inc. along with any other phones and products made by the company.

Nokia is also asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to start a full-fledged legal investigation of Qualcomm.


Nokia claims that Qualcomm has perpetuated unfair trade practices by infringing on their patents. This complaint comes amidst a multinational legal battle between Nokia and Qualcomm that started after the recent expiration of a licensing agreement between the two companies. The licensing agreement has since led to a full-fledged war over the distribution of royalty fees. (Source:

Nokia is also claiming that Qualcomm copied their patented technology, without permission, and implemented these innovations into their chipset designs.

This is not the first time Qualcomm has been accused of stealing technology. In June 2007, the U.S. International Trade Commission banned all imports of cell phones that used Qualcomm semiconductors because the chipsets had violated a patent held by rival chipmaker, Broadcom Corp.

Representatives at Qualcomm did not go into much detail concerning these allegations, but did say that the company is attempting to reach a fair settlement with Nokia in the most straightforward and timely fashion, ensuring that both sides reach a fair solution. (Source:

Qualcomm is also seeking arbitration rather than further litigation. That's ironic, considering the fact that Nokia and Qualcomm have sued each other all over the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy. In fact, Qualcomm had initially approached the U.S. International Trade Commission in June 2006, seeking an import ban on all Nokia products that they claimed violated their patents. The case is scheduled to be heard sometime in September 2007. (Source:

According to recent figures, investors remain confident in the abilities of both companies. Shares in Nokia increased 88 cents (3.1 per cent) after the news broke about their push for a Qualcomm ban. Ironically, Qualcomm shares also rose 68 cents (1.8 percent), despite the unfavorable news.

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