Nokia defeats IPCom's UK patent lawsuit

Nokia has scored two consecutive victories against German patent license manager IPCom in the U.K, it said on Tuesday.

On Monday, the U.K. High Court announced that two IPCom patents named in a suit brought by IPCom against Nokia are invalid, and therefore can't be infringed upon, according to Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant. The patents are related to how phones connect to a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network, he said.

IPCom has also conceded defeat in a second case, due to start trial in the U.K. next week, according to Durrant. The case involved another three U.K. patents that IPCom had asserted against Nokia as being essential to GSM or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) standards, but IPCom has now accepted that these patents are also invalid, Durrant said via e-mail.

IPCom didn't immediately reply to questions regarding the second case.

However, the battle between Nokia and IPCom isn't over. IPCom has appealed the verdict in the U.K. High Court,

The two companies are also involved in a legal case in Germany, where IPCom has also sued HTC for patent infringement. The injunctions that IPCom is pursuing against Nokia there are entirely unaffected by the U.K. ruling, according to Bernhard Frohwitter, managing director at IPcom. In the German cases, the District Court of Mannheim has already clearly ruled that both Nokia and HTC are infringing IPCom patents, Frohwitter said.

For IPCom to win the patents have to be deemed valid, and a decision on that is expected in 2010, according to Durrant. Nokia is confident that the courts in Germany will find that the patents are invalid, Durrant said.

IPCom was founded in 2007, and the company acquired a mobile patent portfolio from Bosch the same year. The portfolio includes more than 1,000 patents registered in Europe, the US and Asia, most of which have been granted, according to IPCom's web site.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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