Nokia loses IPCom 3G patent battle


Nokia infringed on a patent relating to how handsets hook up to 3G, the UK High Court has ruled.

IPCom, a German patent licensing firm which owns the related patent, said it will demand Nokia stop selling its 3G enabled phones in the UK unless the Finnish firm agrees to pay licensing fees.

Mr Justice Floyd said the patent was valid and a number of Nokia devices infringed it. It has not emerged what those devices were.

Indeed, there is some confusion about whether any of Nokia's current devices are affected by the court's decision.

According to Nokia its "current products" were not deemed to have infringed the patent.

"We are pleased that the UK High Court declared that Nokia's current products do not infringe the patent," Mark Durrant, a spokesman for Nokia, told Bloomberg.

"This means that we can continue selling those products, now with legal certainty."

Despite this, Nokia said it disagrees with parts of the court's decision and will launch an appeal in the coming months.

IPCom, meanwhile, suggested two of Nokia's current devices infringed the patent.

"As far as we know, this is the first time that an essential telecoms 3G patent was ever upheld and judged infringed in the UK, a jurisdiction well known for being very demanding for patent holders," said Bernhard Frohwitter, IPCom's managing director.

The High Court ruling came just days after Nokia reached a settlement with Apple over a patent dispute.

The agreement will see Apple become a Nokia licensee. Apple will also pay Nokia a one off lump sum, as well as ongoing licensing fees.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.