Menu
ITC rules Microsoft's phones don't infringe patents

ITC rules Microsoft's phones don't infringe patents

Decision reverses previous determination a week after Microsoft sued the patent holder

Microsoft has prevailed over InterDigital in a years-old patent infringement action that was originally brought against Nokia in front of the U.S. International Trade Commission.

On Friday, the commission ruled that Nokia phones don't infringe on patents held by InterDigital relating to 3G cellular data standards, overturning a previous decision from earlier this year. It's good news for Microsoft, since the ITC has the power to block imports of products that it determines are infringing patents.

It's just one more step in a long case, which started when InterDigital filed a complaint with the ITC in August 2007.

The mobile landscape is very different now than when the complaint was opened eight years ago. In 2007, Nokia was still the dominant player in the mobile phone market, and the iPhone had just launched. Since then, Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices and services business -- along with this litigation. Now, Microsoft has curtailed its mobile phone production ambitions: it recently announced it would cut 7,800 jobs primarily in its mobile phone unit and take a $7.6 billion write-down on its acquisition of Nokia.

InterDigital CEO Bill Merritt said that while he was disappointed with the decision, it wouldn't mean much for the company's business. The firm will continue developing technology for future standards and pursuing licensing fees for the patents it already holds.

"Today's decision is disappointing but is expected to have a limited impact on our going-forward business, given the decline of the Nokia mobile device business under Microsoft's control and its limited market position," he said in a statement.

Microsoft said it was pleased with the ITC's decision, and that it would continue its fight against InterDigital through an antitrust lawsuit it filed last week.

“We’re grateful the Commission stopped InterDigital from trying to block our products," Microsoft said. "We’ll continue to pursue our separate suit addressing InterDigital’s unlawful conduct and abusive patent licensing scheme.”

That lawsuit alleges that InterDigital's "abusive licensing practices" violate antitrust law. It comes on the heels of a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a ruling in Microsoft's favor that set a licensing rate for other patents relating to Wi-Fi standards and required Google to pay $14.5 million in damages.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Ingram Micro completed its nationwide roadshow in Auckland last month, kicking off its Innovation Hour series with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Uncovering the latest in storage, networking and servers, the event outlined key market trends for resellers in 2016 and beyond.

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise
IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

FireEye welcomed 143 channel partners and distributors to FireEye's 2016 annual Partner Conference, FireEye A/NZ Momentum - held at Establishment in Sydney. Delegates heard from senior trans-Tasman channel leaders, marketing and the product divisions in the morning, with FireEye customers, incident responders and threat intelligence analysts sharing knowledge during the afternoon.

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference
​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​

​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​

With New Zealand businesses now open to innovation, the industry sits on the cusp of significant disruption in the data centre. Driven by software-defined networking, the future of the data centre is fast becoming reality, as the channel seeks to keep up, keep innovating and keep growing. APC by Schneider Electric, Lenovo and key partners outlined how the channel can capitalise at The Grill restaurant in Auckland.

​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​
Show Comments