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Qualcomm Lashes Back After Nokia’s $20M Payment

Saber rattling between Qualcomm Inc. and Nokia Corp. continued April 5 when chip-maker Qualcomm filed an arbitration demand with the American Arbitration Association, regarding Nokia’s payment of $20 million to Qualcomm for use of Qualcomm’s patents in the second quarter of 2007.

Qualcomm says that handset-maker Nokia’s $20 million payment constitutes “an election by Nokia to extend its license under the parties’ existing agreement,” which expires April 9.

“(Nokia’s decision) to pay an arbitrary sum for the use of Qualcomm’s patents is an acknowledgement of its obligation to compensate Qualcomm for the use of those patents,” said Qualcomm in an April 5 statement.

The Espoo, Finland-based handset maker says Qualcomm’s royalties are too steep, but in its statement, Qualcomm said that Nokia is not the arbiter for what are fair and reasonable royalty rates.

“Nokia’s claim that it has been paying cumulative royalties of no more than 3 percent on (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access, or WCDMA) products sold through 2007 is intentionally deceptive and misleading,” the release stated.

Qualcomm did not disclose the dollar or percentage value of its royalty rates. The Associated Press quotes Qualcomm general counsel Lou Lupin saying the $20 million figure amounts to “a fraction” of how much Qualcomm gets from Nokia.

“Nokia’s claims as to what are fair and reasonable rates for Qualcomm’s patents are directly contradicted by its demands for royalties for its own patents,” the Qualcomm statement said.

, Andy Killion

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