Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) and its wholly owned subsidiary, SnapTrack, Inc., filed suit on November 4 against Nokia Corporation and Nokia Inc. in federal court in San Diego for infringement of eleven of Qualcomm's patents and one patent owned by SnapTrack. Qualcomm's lawsuit includes patents that are essential for the manufacture or use of equipment that complies with the GSM, GPRS and EDGE cellular standards (the GSM family of standards) and other patents that are infringed by Nokia's products. Patents that are essential to a standard are those that must necessarily be infringed to comply with the requirements of the standard. Qualcomm's complaint states that Nokia is infringing Qualcomm's patents by making or selling products in the United States that comply with the GSM family of standards. Qualcomm seeks an injunction against Nokia's continuing sale of infringing products and monetary damages.
"We have been discussing a number of issues with Nokia for some time, including the fact that we have essential GSM patents for which Nokia is not licensed, and we are disappointed that this has resulted in litigation," said Louis M. Lupin, senior vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. "Until recently, we had been led to believe that these issues might be resolved cooperatively and amicably. However, it now appears that a cooperative resolution of these issues is quite unlikely and we must move forward with the litigation in order to protect our rights and to get these issues resolved."
Demand from cell phone users for data services and multimedia features has been growing dramatically since the advent of second-generation (2G) cellular technologies. The ability to provide better data performance is one of the primary reasons that the wireless industry has selected CDMA technology for nearly all third-generation (3G) cellular standards and systems. Faced with this demand and spurred by competition from CDMA systems, 2G standards, such as GSM, have been evolved to support improved data capabilities. These evolutions of GSM—first GPRS and later EDGE—have adopted patented innovations developed by Qualcomm originally for use in CDMA systems to: achieve higher data rates, increase spectral efficiency, enhance capacity, improve resistance to interference, permit access to packet switched networks, and facilitate multimedia distribution. Nokia's GSM, GPRS and EDGE standards-compliant products unavoidably infringe Qualcomm's patents surrounding these inventions that have become essential to the GSM family of standards. Six of the patents in Qualcomm's complaint against Nokia were also asserted in the complaint that Qualcomm filed against Broadcom Corporation on July 11, 2005.
Qualcomm's extensive patent portfolio includes more than 4,000 United States patents and patent applications and more than 20,000 patents and applications around the globe. Qualcomm has entered into more than 130 royalty-bearing license agreements with the world's leading telecommunications equipment makers and consumer electronics manufacturers. Qualcomm's extensive licensing program has fostered the widespread adoption of leading-edge technologies and promoted vibrant competition throughout the wireless industry, encouraging innovation and technological advancement. Qualcomm is prepared to offer licenses under its essential GSM/GPRS/EDGE patents on fair and reasonable terms free from unfair discrimination to any company that requests one.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2005 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol QCOM.