October 19, 2007 / 6:24 PM / 12 years ago

Judge recommends end to Nokia probe: Qualcomm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) said on Friday that a judge had recommended ending a U.S. International Trade Commission investigation of a complaint Nokia Oyj NOK1V.HE had brought against Qualcomm.

Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, had asked the ITC on August 16 to halt U.S. imports of phones that include certain Qualcomm chips it says infringe on Nokia patents related to technology that enhances device performance, lowers manufacturing costs and improves battery life.

Nokia was not immediately available for comment. The two companies have been at legal loggerheads since they failed to renew a key technology licensing pact that expired on April 9.

Qualcomm said that Administrative Law Judge Paul Luckern recommended terminating the latest investigation because the companies are already in arbitration proceedings related to their 2001 technology license agreement.

Judge Luckern’s determination will become the commission’s final decision unless the commission decides within 30 days to review the decision, Qualcomm said.

The ITC held a two-week-long hearing in September related to a complaint Qualcomm had made in June against Nokia, accusing the cell phone maker of infringing on three of its patents.

A final decision on that case is not expected until 2008 after an expected judge’s recommendation later this year.

In yet another case, the ITC banned the U.S. import of some phones with Qualcomm chips that were found to infringe on a patent owned by Broadcom Corp BRCM.O. The ban has been partially stayed while Qualcomm appeals the case.

Qualcomm shares were down 61 cents or 1.5 percent at $40.77 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq. Nokia’s U.S. stock was down 66 cents or 1.75 percent at $36.98 on New York Stock Exchange.

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