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US: Nokia stands with Qualcomm in FTC SEP case

 |  October 15, 2018

According to the World Intellectual Property Review, Nokia has sided with Qualcomm in its standard-essential patent (SEP) dispute with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

District Judge Lucy Koh allowed the FTC to file a response to Nokia’s amicus brief at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, on Friday, October 12.

The competition dispute between Qualcomm and the FTC dates back to January 2017, when the Commission accused the company of using unfair licensing tactics to maintain a monopoly in the supply of semiconductor devices.

Technology associations which represent companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google shared their support for the FTC’s position in an amicus brief in September.

Now, telecommunications company Nokia has filed an amicus brief in Qualcomm’s favor. Nokia warned against “novel and surprising interpretations” of the regulations governing SEPs which may have unintended consequences for SEP owners and the wider industry.

“Complications that would likely arise from inconsistent licensing obligations advocated for in the FTC’s motion for partial summary judgment could unravel the success of SEP licensing and standards development,” Nokia stated.

Last week, the FTC asked Judge Koh for leave to file its response to Nokia’s brief, as Nokia’s claims “miss the mark” in their interpretation of the FTC’s arguments.

The FTC’s response brief, attached to the motion for partial summary judgment (that the FTC filed ahead of trial slated to take place in January 2019), claimed that “Nokia’s argument has no bearing on the proper interpretation of FRAND commitments.” Nokia also failed to address the plain language of the SEP-governing contractual policies which are the subject of the FTC’s motion for partial summary judgment, the FTC stated.

Full Content: WIPR

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