Printed from http://www.electronista.com

ITC kills InterDigital patent claim against Nokia

updated 12:30 am EDT, Sat October 17, 2009

ITC finds Nokia not violating 3G patents

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) tonight exonerated Nokia by ending an investigation into claims by InterDigital that Nokia had violated its patents. The government agency has confirmed an initial decision by an Administrative Law Judge that said Nokia's use of UMTS-based 3G doesn't violate four InterDigital technology patents. Additionally, the ITC has rejected the portion of the judge's ruling that had originally found the patents valid and has denied InterDigital a chance to claim further patent violations.

The move follows a ruling in the UK that had also dismissed attempts by Philadelpha-based InterDigital to link several patents to UMTS and may have an impact on previous cases. Samsung last year agreed to a settlement rather than let a similar patent dispute reach a conclusion, while before this both Apple and BlackBerry creator Research in Motion had already paid the claimed patent holder.

It's not yet known if InterDigital will appeal the decision or if the other affected firms will react.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004

    0

    Huh!

    Apparently there is a way to squash a patent troll. One must wonder what sort of diplomacy would give a federal commission the cause and power to overturn a federal judge, to find in favor of a foreign company. In fact, a foreign company with little remaining business in the US.

    Don't get me wrong, I think bad patents should be invalidated, but the [administrative law] judge basically ruled that the patents were valid, meaning that he verified that InterDigital had lawfully applied for and received the patents from the USPTO. This doesn't attest to the soundness of the patents, just that they were obtained legally. The ITC is now coming in, and saying that it doesn't care about how lawfully the patents were obtained, they are invalid by fiat! It makes me wonder if the same would happen to valid patents, if a large foreign company had put pressure through their government channels to ours.

    Think about this, and the fact that Steve went out of his way at the iPhone launch, to state that they covered the iPhone with as many patents as they could. For some reason, the number 200 is coming to my mind. Nokia is in a world of hurt right now, but they are the single largest employer in Finland, and one of the largest in europe. What if they could wipe out most of the iPhone's patents in a similar manner. As an Apple stockholder, it gives me pause.

    -- Len

  1. edac2

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    ITC InterDigital Bold

    I'm glad International Typeface Corp isn't killing their InterDigital font.

  1. peter02l

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +2

    @Len,

    "meaning that he verified that InterDigital had lawfully applied for and received the patents from the USPTO. This doesn't attest to the soundness of the patents, just that they were obtained legally. The ITC is now coming in, and saying that it doesn't care about how lawfully the patents were obtained, they are invalid by fiat!"

    Are you saying that all patents that valid or that judges are always right? It is of course possible that questionable judges are only assigned to east Texas.

    I don't think ITC is saying that it doesn't care about how lawfully the patents were obtained. I think they are saying the judge was wrong.

    But, like you, I didn't realize that ITC had such clout.

  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004

    0

    @peter02l

    Hey, I'm not saying judges are always right, and certainly not from the East Texas troll factory. I'm just pointing to the way our system works. Judges have to be overturned by judges of a higher level court. There is no provision in our constitution to have judges overturned, by fiat, by an executive branch entity.

    For those readers who are not from the US, or had inadequate civics classes in high school, here's some background on the issue I was raising. The executive branch check on the judiciary power is through appointments of judges, who are also checked by affirmation by the legislative branch. Likewise, the laws that the judges apply, right or wrong, are created by the legislative branch, and approved by the executive branch. This is the way our government works. The executive has no power to overturn a judge's ruling.

    In reality, most people not within the political beast do not realize that judges are the most political people in our country. This is because they often have long or life terms, and their position is decided by other politicians. As such, they are the puppeteers that most people never see. The black robe is the costume that conceals their roles within the system, with the cover of law's supposed blindness.

    I realize that some here may mis-read my sentiment, but the whole point of our system is that the laws govern the way companies do business. Patents are part of our law, because they are supposed to foster innovation by making novel implementations of new technologies public, and protected. I realize this doesn't fit with the view of some here that technology should be "free" but this was the intent. Businesses rely on this concept to monetize the work they do to develop new technologies, because their first purpose is not to create technology, but to make money for their shareholders.

    -- Len


  1. Gena777

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009

    0

    Politics

    I have to agree with Len that this administrative action at least LOOKS political. It doesn't bode well for the concept of separation of powers. Of course, the intrusion of politics into the courtroom is nothing new in the world of patent litigation or any other area of law.
    http://www.GeneralPatent.com

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...

VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD

USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...

Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News