InterDigital files ITC complaint against Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE for 3G patent infringement

Remember when InterDigital aired its grievances with Nokia before the International Trade Commission several years ago, alleging Espoo infringed a few of its 3G patents? Well, what's old is new again, and the company's filed another complaint with the ITC against the Finnish phone maker, Huawei, and ZTE, too. This time around, the hammer's been forged from seven patents for various WCDMA and CDMA2000 technologies allegedly found in those companies' phones, broadband dongles, and tablets. Reuters reports that, should the federal agency take up InterDigital's cause, Huawei and Nokia will fight the good fight, and we imagine that ZTE won't be rolling over, either. Of course, the ITC has 30 days to start an investigation, so we'll know within a month if InterDigital's latest IP fishing expedition has a shot to yield a bounty as big as it's gotten before.

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InterDigital Files Complaint Against Nokia, Huawei and ZTE With International Trade Commission

Company Seeks Importation Ban for 3G Wireless Products that Infringe on U.S. Patents

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDCC) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiaries InterDigital Communications, LLC, InterDigital Technology Corporation and IPR Licensing, Inc. (collectively, "InterDigital") have filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") against Nokia Corporation and Nokia Inc. (collectively, "Nokia"), Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. and FutureWei Technologies, Inc. d/b/a Huawei Technologies (USA) (collectively, "Huawei") and ZTE Corporation and ZTE (USA) Inc. (collectively, "ZTE" and together with Nokia and Huawei, "Respondents"). The complaint alleges that the Respondents have engaged in unfair trade practices by making for importation into the United States, importing, and selling after importation, certain 3G wireless devices, including WCDMA and cdma2000 mobile phones, USB sticks, mobile hotspots, and tablets, and components of such devices that infringe seven of InterDigital's U.S. patents. The action also extends to certain WCDMA and cdma2000 devices incorporating WiFi functionality. In conjunction with the ITC filing, InterDigital® has also filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware alleging that Respondents' 3G wireless devices infringe these same InterDigital patents.

"Over the past thirty years, InterDigital has invested nearly one billion dollars in the development of advanced digital cellular technologies, creating important innovations, and helping to drive an industry creating billions of wireless connections"
InterDigital's complaint with the ITC seeks an exclusion order that would bar from entry into the U.S. any infringing 3G wireless devices (and components) that are imported by or on behalf of Respondents, including wireless mobile phones, USB sticks, mobile hotspots, and tablets capable of operating with a 3G WCDMA or 3G cdma2000® system. InterDigital's complaint also seeks a cease and desist order to bar further sales of infringing products that have already been imported into the United States. The complaint asserts U.S. Patent Nos. 7,349,540, 7,502,406, 7,536,013, 7,616,970, 7,706,332, 7,706,830, and 7,970,127.

"Over the past thirty years, InterDigital has invested nearly one billion dollars in the development of advanced digital cellular technologies, creating important innovations, and helping to drive an industry creating billions of wireless connections," said Lawrence Shay, President of InterDigital's patent holding subsidiaries. "During that period, we have signed dozens of license agreements with manufacturers, giving them access to a patent portfolio of approximately 19,000 issued patents and patent applications – among the largest wireless portfolios in the world," continued Shay. "The vast majority of our agreements have been reached without the need for litigation. However, despite having engaged in good faith efforts to license our patents to Nokia, Huawei and ZTE, we have not been able to reach an acceptable resolution. As a result, to protect our intellectual property and the interests of our licensees, we made the decision to bring legal action against these parties."

By statute, the ITC has 30 days from the filing of the complaint to decide whether to formally institute an investigation.

As of June 30, 2011, the company's patent portfolio consisted of approximately 1,400 U.S. patents and approximately 8,000 non-U.S. patents. In addition, as of June 30, 2011, the company had approximately 1,250 pending applications in the U.S. and approximately 8,250 pending non-U.S. patent applications. The patents and applications comprising the company's portfolio relate predominantly to digital wireless radiotelephony technology (including, without limitation, 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies).