Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and data solutions, today announced that the District Court in The Hague has dismissed a complaint filed by Nokia seeking to limit Qualcomm's intellectual property rights. In the action, Nokia sought a declaration from the court that Qualcomm's European patents are exhausted with respect to chips placed on the European market by Texas Instruments (TI) in light of the Patent Portfolio Agreement entered into between Qualcomm and TI in 2000. In dismissing Nokia's complaint, the Court ruled first that it was only accepting jurisdiction as to The Netherlands and not with respect to any other countries in Europe. Second, the court concluded that Nokia's complaint was too vague and non-specific in failing to adequately allege any specific instances of possible exhaustion regarding any specific Qualcomm patents used by any specific Nokia products. Nokia has three months to appeal the Court's decision.
“We are very pleased with the recent rulings by the Dutch and German courts in dismissing Nokia's patent exhaustion claims, and we are particularly gratified that this ruling highlights that one should view Nokia's fundamental theory of exhaustion with a significant degree of skepticism,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. “It is obvious that Nokia was trying to weaken Qualcomm's position in our licensing negotiations and they failed. This is the second time in as many months that a court in Europe has rejected Nokia's attempts to have a declaration of exhaustion against Qualcomm's patents.”
Qualcomm's agreements with ASIC suppliers include as material terms express provisions that such agreements (1) are not intended to result in the exhaustion of any of Qualcomm's patents, and (2) reserve for Qualcomm the right to seek royalties from handset manufacturers incorporating chips from any such ASIC supplier.
Separately, on October 23, the Regional Court of Mannheim, Germany dismissed similar claims seeking a declaration of patent exhaustion by Nokia. The Mannheim court dismissed Nokia's complaint for lack of admissibility, noting that Nokia lacked a “legal interest” in pursuing such claims. Nokia has until the end of November 2007 to appeal that decision. In both cases, Nokia is required to pay court costs as well as Qualcomm's attorney fees for defending the actions.
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 2007 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.