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InterDigital Sues Nokia, Huawei, ZTE

Wed, 07/27/2011 - 8:11am
Maisie Ramsay

InterDigital is suing Nokia, Huawei and ZTE over patent infringement, claiming the companies' CDMA-based wireless devices infringe on seven of its patents.

The lawsuits, filed Tuesday with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and a Delaware district court, allege that the three companies have violated seven of InterDigital's patents on 3G devices such as WCDMA and CDMA2000 cell phones, USB modems, mobile Wi-Fi hotspots and tablets.

InterDigital argued that importing devices which infringe on its patents into the United States constitutes unfair trade practices and asked the ITC to ban the companies from importing devices implicated in the complaint, a standard move in patent infringement cases.

Lawrence Shay, president of InterDigital's patent business, said the decision to file suit came after the company was unable to reach a licensing deal with the companies.

"Despite having engaged in good faith efforts to license our patents to Nokia, Huawei and ZTE, we have not been able to reach an acceptable resolution," Shay said in a statement. "As a result, to protect our intellectual property and the interests of our licensees, we made the decision to bring legal action against these parties."

Neither Nokia, Huawei nor ZTE could be immediately reached for comment, but Nokia spokesman Tomi Kuuppelomaki told Dow Jones Newswires that the company would fight the suit. "Nokia will take whatever steps are needed to protect its rights," he said.

The ITC has not yet agreed to investigate InterDigital's complaint and has 30 days to decide whether to institute a formal examination.

InterDigital holds 1,400 patents in the United States and 8,000 international patents. The wireless technology company also has about 1,250 patent applications pending in the United States and 8,250 pending applications overseas. The company's portfolio is largely comprised of patents on wireless technology, including 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.

The lawsuit comes just over a week after InterDigital said it hired Evercore Partners and Barclays Capital to look into a possible sale of the company's patent portfolio. Interest in selling off intellectual property rights spiked after Nortel raked in $4.5 billion from the sale of its patent portfolio to a group of tech companies including Apple and Microsoft.

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