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Nokia Wins Appeal Over $16 Billion Patent Lawsuit

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German patent holding company, IPCom has lost an appeal against Nokia for allegedly infringing its patent portfolio. IPCom acquired a large batch of mobile specific patents from the former German handset manufacturer, Robert Bosch in 2007 and later tried to claim Nokia was infringing the patents.

The company was seeking to claim EUR12 billion (USD16.2 billion) from Nokia based on the calculation of 5 percent of Nokia's mobile phone sales in countries covered by the patents, or EUR 600 million (USD840 million) a year over 20 years.

A UK court dismissed the claim last January, but allowed for an appeal.

The two patents relate to cellular mobile phone technology. Broadly speaking, the first of the patents, European Patent (UK) No. 540 808 ("808"), is concerned with the way in which the mobile phone synchronises itself with the transmissions it receives from the base station. The second of the patents, European Patent (UK) No. 1 186 189 ("189"), is concerned with management of the right of the mobile phone to connect to the network.

IPCom alleged that the Nokia 6300 phone infringes the 808 patent and that the Nokia N96 phone infringes 189. Nokia said that both the patents are invalid.

"This was an important decision against two of IPCom's alleged strongest patents," Mark Durrant, a Nokia spokesman told Bloomberg News. "IPCom's assertions of the strength and value of its portfolio are not surviving the test of litigation."

Nokia has so far challenged 45 of the patents that IPCom is seeking judgement on.

IPCom was also ordered to pay Nokia's costs, which the company objected to by stating that Nokia forced the legal action in the UK expressly due to the high cost of litigation. The judge dismissed the argument noting that a claim for EUR12 billion is going to understandably cause Nokia to mount a robust, and expensive defense.

The case is: Nokia Oyj v. IPCom Gmbh, A3/2010/0454/0939/2678, High Court of Justice, Court of Appeal (London).

On the web: Bloomberg News - EP Law Patent Blog

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Tags: ipcom  nokia  patent  connect  court  bosch  UK