Nokia Files Patent Suit Against Chipmaker Qualcomm

Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, said Monday it filed a patent infringement countersuit against Qualcomm in an ongoing multinational legal battle over wireless technology.

Nokia, which filed the lawsuit in a Texas district court, is seeking damages and injunctive relief. The lawsuit deals with claims of unauthorized use of Nokia's Brew and MediaFlo patents, which allow fast, high-quality transfers of audio and video multimedia to wireless subscribers.

In April, Qualcomm , the world's No. 2 chipmaker for mobile phones which licenses its technology patents, filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Texas against Nokia, allegedly involving certain types of mobile software download and execution environments.

San Diego, California-based Qualcomm's lawsuit said Nokia infringed on patents for phones that run on a standard known as global system for mobile communication, or GSM, which is prevalent in Europe and accounts for about two-thirds of all mobile phones.

Nokia said Monday it believes the Qualcomm patents are invalid, as the alleged inventions have been patented or published by other companies before Qualcomm. It also said it does not believe Nokia's products infringe any of the patents.

Shares in Nokia fell 1.8% to 20.78 euros ($27.68) in Helsinki.

"Nokia has a strong history of innovation in IP (Internet Protocol) broadcast television and mobile download environments predating Qualcomm's activities," said Tero Ojanpera, a chief technology officer at Nokia. "This is another example where Qualcomm has effectively copied Nokia's innovations."

"We believe that, for MediaFlo to evolve and for Brew to remain viable, Qualcomm needs access to these and many other patented Nokia inventions," he added.

Nokia said its patent counter-assertions are part of a response to the Qualcomm lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Texas in April.

The legal skirmish dates to October 2005, when Nokia and five other companies complained to the European Union about Qualcomm's business practices. The commission is considering the complaint.

Besides suing Nokia in Texas, Qualcomm has also charged the Finnish company with patent infringement in federal court in San Diego, before the U.S. International Trade Commission and in courts in Britain, France, Germany and Italy.

Nokia said it has built one of the "strongest and broadest IPR portfolios in the wireless industry" over the last 15 years through extensive investments in research and development and that it will continue to defend itself against "the infringement and unauthorized use of its intellectual property."