Menu
Sierra Wireless files complaints about Nokia's patent licensing

Sierra Wireless files complaints about Nokia's patent licensing

Sierra Wireless wants the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to sanction Nokia

Canadian wireless modem maker Sierra Wireless has filed complaints with the European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claiming that Nokia is behaving unfairly in patent licensing.

For its part, Nokia claims that Sierra Wireless has been in breach of its existing license terms for years.

Nokia is abusing its position as the holder of 3G and GSM (2G) standard essential patents (SEPs), said Sierra Wireless in a news release.

Standard essential patents are patents that are deemed essential to implementations of industry standards. Companies are usually required by standards bodies to license those patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. What exactly is a fair and reasonable licensing price is often a point of dispute between companies.

In the complaint filed with the Commission, Sierra Wireless alleges that Nokia applies widely different, and therefore unfair, royalty rates for the same SEPs to make identical GSM wireless modules, the company said. Nokia also imposes unfavorable and unreasonable royalty terms that put Sierra Wireless at a competitive disadvantage, it said.

The company has been seeking a mutually acceptable resolution of the royalty rate issues and a license to use Nokias 3G SEPs, but got no clear response from Nokia, prompting its EC complaint, it said. Sierra Wireless believes that Nokia is in breach of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and requirements set by the European Technology Standards Institute (ETSI).

The company wants the EC to investigate and require Nokia to reveal the pricing for 2G and 3G SEP licenses with other licensees, end the breaches outlined in the complaint, sanction Nokia, and require these patent licenses to be granted on FRAND terms, it said.

In addition, the FTC was notified of the complaint and asked to open an investigation into the alleged breach of FRAND rules and U.S. laws on fair trade and monopoly practices by Nokia. Sierra Wireless also asked ETSI to investigate Nokia for its alleged FRAND behavior breach.

The EC has received the complaint and is looking at it, a Commission official said in an email.

Nokia said in an emailed statement that Sierra Wireless has been in breach of its existing license terms with Nokia for several years.

"Despite many years of good faith attempts by Nokia to resolve the disagreements, Sierra has failed to pay Nokia the royalties which Sierra owes under the license," , Nokia spokeswoman Nina Ratavaara said. She called the complaints frivolous.

"As Sierra is now pursuing these abusive tactics, seeking to continue to use Nokias innovations without paying the agreed royalties, Nokia will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our intellectual property, our rights and our reputation," she added.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Nokialegalintellectual propertypatentSierra Wirelesseuropean commissionU.S. Federal Trade Commission

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments