Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, said on Tuesday the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has ordered a stay of wireless chip supplier Qualcomm’s suit against Nokia.
Qualcomm filed a complaint with the ITC last June asking the agency to bar the U.S. sale of certain Nokia products saying Nokia engaged in unfair trading practices by importing and selling phones that infringed its patents.
Nokia said the ITC administrative law judge overseeing the investigation ordered a stay of the case until further notice. The trial for the case had been scheduled to begin on March 5.
“Nokia is not aware of the exact reasons for the decision,” said spokesman Bill Plummer adding that he believes “the decision in part reflects some of Nokia’s defense actions.”
Neither the ITC nor Qualcomm was immediately available to comment.
San Diego-based Qualcomm is also embroiled in another case at the ITC where chip rival Broadcom Corp
BMO analyst John Bucher said it was not possible to determine the impact of the stay on either company without knowing the rationale behind the judge’s decision.
Nokia and Qualcomm are also in negotiations to renew a technology licensing agreement that expires on April 9 but Qualcomm has said the talks remain deadlocked.
Plummer said he did not think the stay was “in any way connected” with Nokia’s ongoing negotiations with Qualcomm.
He said Nokia was confident it had not infringed any of the patents in the case which pertains to GSM, the world’s most widely used technology standard for mobile phones.
Qualcomm had reduced the number of claims in the case to three patents from six, Plummer said.
Qualcomm is the dominant supplier of chips for phones based on CDMA, the most widely used U.S. cellular technology, and supplies chips based on W-CMDA, a technology used in Europe.
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