US firm trio settle Nokia-Qualcomm dispute

US firm trio settle Nokia-Qualcomm disputeQuinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Cooley Godward have brokered a deal that sees the end of a three-year global dispute between Qualcomm and Nokia.

The three US firms managed to bring together the two mobile phone companies to sign a 15-year licensing agreement.

The deal has put an end to the global litigation between Quinn Emanuel client Nokia and Cravath and Cooley client Qualcomm that began back in 2005. Quinn Emanuel partner Bill Urquhart led the firm advising Nokia, while Evan Chesler led a Cravath team advising Qualcomm working in tandem with Cooley’s Steven Strauss.

The dispute was sparked three years ago when Nokia complained to the European Commission (EC) about the prices of Qualcomm’s patent licences. In return, the chip manufacturer filed a suit against Nokia in San Diego over alleged infringements on dozens of patents.

Qualcomm and handset manufacturer Nokia have since been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute that has spanned the globe, with ­litigations in China, France, Italy, Germany, Texas, San Diego and Delaware.

But the 15-year licensing agreement – which is yet to be finalised – has put an end to the dispute, with all litigations set to be dismissed.

A source close to the ­dispute said: “This a hugely significant development that has surprised all those involved. Whatever the outcome of the dispute a licence agreement would have had to have been drawn up, but it was unexpected at this stage.”

As part of the agreement Nokia is withdrawing its complaint to the EC ­regarding Qualcomm’s licensing practices, and ­royalty arrangements have been agreed.

Last year (14 August 2007), The Lawyer reported that Qualcomm general counsel Lou Lupin had stepped down after the chip manufacturer was subjected to a court ruling ordering it to pay $39.3m (£19.74m) to rival company Broadcom for violating three Broadcom patents on mobile phone technology.

All three firms declined to comment.