Nokia-Qualcomm Patent Battle Heats Up

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile handset maker, has been locked in an increasingly bitter patent battle with San Diego’s Qualcomm since 2005, with Nokia accusing Qualcomm of violating licensing regulations and Qualcomm accusing the phone maker of violating patents. And now comes news Nokia is paying $20 million to Qualcomm to continue licensing key patents…and says that if Qualcomm isn’t happy with that payment, it’ll be happy to go after Qualcomm for infringing its patents.

What?

It all started in October 2005, when Nokia and five other companies filed a compainted with the European telecom regulators, claiming Qualcomm’s patent licensing terms were stifling competition in the mobile phone market. Regulators are still pondering that complaint, but Qualcomm decided not to wait around and filed suit against Nokia in November 2005, alleging the Finnish company was violating 11 patents of its own, and one from Qualcomm subsidiary SnapTrak. In mid-2006, Qualcomm followed up with a patent violation suit against Nokia in a British court, and a complaint to the ITC that Nokia was infringing on six of its patents. In response, Nokia announces it will stop making CMDA handsets, withdrawing from a joint venture with Sanyo and reducing its exposure to Qualcomm’s patents. Then Nokia sues Qualcomm in August 2006, demanding a court order Qualcomm to license its GSM-related patents on “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.”

Still with us? Flash forward to 2007: In February, a judge stays the complaint Qualcomm filed against Nokia with the ITU; in March, Nokia goes after Qualcomm again, this time in Germany and the Netherlands, asking courts to declare Qualcomm patents used in Texas Instruments chipsets as “exhausted”—meaning Nokia wouldn’t have to pay money to Qualcomm to use the chipsets in the European Union.

And this week, a new volley, with Qualcomm filing suit against Nokia over GSM patents and Nokia calling Qualcomm a “serial litigator.”

And today, Nokia has announced it is paying Qualcomm $20 million for the right to use UMTS patents after April 9, 2007. However, Nokia is quick to point out that the payment does not extend patent agreements on CDMA/WCDMA technology set to expire on April 9; instead, the payment represents “fair and reasonable” compensation for the use of selected Qualcomm patents in Nokia UMTS handsets during the second quarter of 2007, and the company expects it will make more payments to Qualcomm in the future, although those will be smaller once some of Qualcomm patents become “paid-up and royalty-free” on April 9.

What’s so sacred about the April 9 date? That’s when a patent agreement covering CDMA/WCMDA technology between the two companies is set to expire—and right now, it looks like there’s no hope of the companies reaching an agreement to extend the deal before it expires. According to Nokia, on that date Qualcomm’s “entire chipset business” will be exposed to Nokia’s own GSM, WCDMA, and CDMA patent collection&hellip:and if Qualcomm decides it wants to fire back, Nokia CFO Rick Simonson has a warning for the San Diego company: “Nokia will use all rights from those portfolios when defending itself against any new Qualcomm litigation.”

Tune in next week.

Wearables

This $76,000 Grand Seiko watch has something in common with a plug-in hybrid car

How can a watch that costs $76,000 possibly have anything in a common with any car, let alone a plug-in hybrid? It's all about the complex, technically incredible Spring Drive movement inside this Grand Seiko watch.
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.
Mobile

Scientists wreck a smartphone in a blender, but not just for fun

It’s oddly mesmerizing to watch a smartphone get torn apart inside a blender. Researchers recently did just that in a bid to find out which materials make up a handset, and also to encourage people to think more about recycling.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Deals

The excellent Apple iPad gets even deeper price cuts on Amazon

The humble iPad from 2018 is still one of the best tablets around -- and a solid choice for most people. Amazon has seen some great price drops for these tablets recently, and now you can own an iPad for even less than before.
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Mobile

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.
Apple

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…
Mobile

Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for and start using with your iPhone

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.
Gaming

Apple Arcade might be the new game subscription service worth signing up for

Apple Arcade will launch this fall bringing a new game-subscription service with cross-platform support for iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. At launch, the service will feature more than 100 exclusive games, with more added to the service regularly.
Mobile

Check out 22 of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers for your shiny new phone

The iPhone 7 might be attractive, but it’s not rugged. To keep your device in pristine condition, you really need to think about proper protection. That's why we've rounded up some of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers available.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.2 brings support for Apple News Plus and new AirPlay 2 features

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

Apple News Plus gives you access to more than 300 magazines for $10 per month

At Apple's services event, the company unveiled a new news subscription service called Apple News Plus. The service gives you access to more than 300 magazines and newspapers and costs $10 per month.