Qualcomm vs Nokia

The licensing battle between Qualcomm and Nokia continues. The 2001 agreement expired on Tuesday, but both companies said they expect no disruptions to consumers.
Qualcomm designs and manufactures digital processors that are core to mobile phones and networks, licenses its technology patents and wants to renew terms of its 2001 pact. Nokia obviously wants to reduce payments to Qualcomm.

The dispute, revolves around royalties for the CDMA standard which is growing quickly in Europe.

Nokia said it has paid all licensees, including Qualcomm, less than 3 percent on CDMA products. Qualcomm said the rate is higher but has declined to be more specific although it has said its standard rate is about 5 percent of a handset’s wholesale price.

"Business is continuing as usual, and we are continuing the negotiations," Nokia spokeswoman Anne Eckert said, providing no details or timetable for the talks. "We are trying to find a mutually acceptable agreement."

Meanwhile Ericsson hope that things get sorted out quickly.

"I hope that the parties can reach some kind of agreement as soon as possible, patent fees cannot become an obstacle for the development of this industry," said Ericsson Chief Executive Carl-Henric Svanberg.

"Patent payments in the industry are split in a wrong way. Traditional and larger players, like Qualcomm, can demand too high payments while others don’t get even what they deserve,"

Ericsson is part of a group of six companies including Nokia that have complained to the European Commission about how much Qualcomm charges in royalties for use of its technologies.

"When the dust settles, I’m sure this case will show the direction. I hope after this we can get rid of the ghost stories on what kind of patent fees are possible in this business," Svanberg said.

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