Kiwi sues Nokia

Kiwi sues Nokia

Nokia is preparing to fight a patent infringement complaint filed by a New Zealand company over technology used in most of the Finnish manufacturer's mobile phones.

"We will actively defend the rights of Nokia," a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Michael S. Sutton Ltd. has filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Nokia for infringing on technology that prepares message packets for data transmission, according to documents filed with the court on Monday. The company claims its technology is used in numerous messaging applications on Nokia phones, including Short Message Service, Multimedia Messaging Service and Nokia's implementation of Wireless Application Protocol.

Sutton had previously filed the complaint against Nokia but then voluntarily dismissed it, according to the Nokia spokeswoman.

"Our legal team is looking at the refiling and will assess the merits of the case," she says.

Legal disputes over mobile phone patents have grown, in part because of opportunities to generate significant revenue from licencing inventions to others. Numerous patent licencing disputes have accompanied mobile phone technologies such as Global System for Mobile Communications and Wideband Code Division Multiple Access.

Last month, Qualcomm filed two lawsuits against Nokia, alleging that the Finnish company infringed on five Qualcomm mobile-phone patents. The two companies are also engulfed in a dispute over a cross-licencing agreement.

Fourth-generation mobile phone technology, presently under development, is expected to generate numerous intellectual-property fights as well -- an area where Qualcomm is already claiming essential patents.

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