(Reuters) - Nokia NOK1V.HE and Qualcomm (QCOM.O) agreed to put on hold their patent litigations and not to file any new cases at least until first results from their trial in a U.S. court in Delaware, which is scheduled to start on 21 July.
The agreement does not apply to the cases handled by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) or the European Commission, and also excludes a case in Britain, where a ruling is expected shortly.
Here is a chronology of the dispute:
Oct 2005 — Nokia and five other firms file complaints with the European Commission alleging anti-competitive conduct by Qualcomm, including high royalty rates. In October 2007, the EU opens antitrust proceedings in the case.
Nov 2005 — Qualcomm files a suit against Nokia in a federal court in San Diego related to GSM patents. The case is on hold.
May 2006 — Qualcomm files a lawsuit against Nokia in Britain over two GSM-related patents. Ruling is expected this quarter, Delaware agreement does not apply.
June 2006 — Qualcomm files a complaint against Nokia with the ITC regarding GSM patents, seeking a bar on imports of Nokia GSM handsets into the United States. In December 2007 administrative law judge determines Nokia had not infringed patents. Final decision expected by April 14.
Aug 2006 — Qualcomm files a patent infringement lawsuit against Nokia in Germany. The case is on hold.
Aug 2006 — Nokia files the case in Delaware saying Qualcomm had breached its contract to license patents essential to GSM and UMTS technology standards on fair and reasonable terms. Nokia also asks the Court to affirm that Qualcomm is not entitled to injunctive relief in relation to patents declared essential to a technology standard.
Oct 2006 — Qualcomm files infringement lawsuits against Nokia in France and Italy regarding GSM technologies.
Feb, 2007 — Qualcomm files three complaints in China regarding GSM patents.
March, 2007 — Nokia files complaints against Qualcomm patents in Germany and the Netherlands. Both courts dropped the cases last year.
April 2007 — Qualcomm files two cases against Nokia in the United States over Nokia GSM cellular phones. Nokia files a counter-suit in Wisconsin in May and in Texas in June.
April 2007 — Qualcomm asks American Arbitration Association to rule that Nokia’s use of its patents after April 9 would mean Nokia extended a key cross-license agreement at old royalty rates. The arbitration will be terminated by end of February, according to Delaware agreement, and the topics will be put on the agenda of the Delaware case.
April 9, 2007 — The cross-license agreement expires in part. The firms say they continued to negotiate on a new deal.
May 2007 — Nokia says it filed in a Wisconsin court its first counter-suit against Qualcomm relating to six Nokia implementation patents. The case is on hold.
June 2007 — Nokia filed a similar case in Texas.
Aug 2007 — Nokia asks the ITC to bar the import of some Qualcomm chips, and phones using those chips, to the United States as they infringe five Nokia patents. The case was terminated in Nov 2007.
Feb 2008 — The two companies agree to hold fire in patent cases until first rulings from Delaware.
July 21, 2008 — The Delaware trial’s tentative start date.
Sources: Nokia, Qualcomm Web sites, court documents.
Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Erica Billingham