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Nokia in Another Legal Wrangle

 

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June 30, 2006

Nokia in Another Legal Wrangle



By Kumar Amitav Chaliha
TMCnet Contributing Editor


Lawyers working for Nokia have had their work cut out these last few months. After getting sued by Qualcomm in May for patent infringements, the mobile phone giant has this time filed a case against two Chinese competitors on illegal product copying charges.

The two companies Nokia (News - Alert) is suing are Song Xun Da Zhong Ke Electronic Shenzhen and Shenzhen Telsda Mobile Communication Industry Development Co.

According to a press release, Nokia is asking a Beijing court to stop the firms from manufacturing and marketing its 7260 model mobile phone. Nokia is also seeking $62,000 (500,000 yuan) in damages.

Nokia spokesperson Thomas Jonsonn said in the release that the company has also named the Chinese distributors of the phone model as co-defendents in the case. The distributors named are Beijing Tongwanbao Commerce & Trade Co. Ltd. and Beijing Xin Tongwanbao Commerce & Trade Co. Ltd.

The lawsuit is Nokia’s first in China. It now joins the growing list of multinationals such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Intel (News - Alert) that have filed trademark lawsuits in China.

Nokia said the lawsuit was part of the firm’s continuous efforts to protect its brand value and proprietary designs. But, analysts point out that it can ill afford to take such a moral high ground especially after the Qualcomm (News - Alert) case.

Qualcomm filed the suit against Nokia for allegedly infringing on two of its patents in the UK. The patents are for mobile devices that are capable of operating in accordance with the GPRS and/or EDGE standards (but don't have CDMA capability).

The proceedings of the suit seek an injunction against Nokia. Qualcomm has also asked for damages for phones already sold in the market using the technology.

The suit Qualcomm filed is an extension of the patent infringement litigation filed by the company against Nokia in the U.S. last November. The two companies have a history of fighting over technology licensing and patent issues.

Qualcomm is a San Diego, Calif.-based wireless technology supplier. The company is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies.

Since 2005, China is Nokia’s biggest market. To beef up its presence in China, Nokia has announced the setting up of its new $63 million headquarters in the country.

China is the world’s largest mobile market, with over 400 million subscribers and about 100 million mobile phones sold in the past year.

Nokia is the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer.

For further information on Nokia, go to www.nokia.com/.

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Kumar Amitav Chaliha is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, visit his columnist page.

 

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