InterDigital Loses Patent Infringement Suits against Microsoft & ZTE
In a recent patent battle, InterDigital, the patent licensing company, lost its appeal to revive patent infringement suits against Microsoft and ZTE’s phone unit (previously NOKIA). InterDigital had been fighting with Nokia over royalties for over 7 years before Microsoft inherited the fight when it purchased Nokia’s mobile device business. After the ruling, InterDigital’s share price came down by 3.4% to US$ 49.14.
InterDigital had filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and ZTE claiming they had infringed on 5 of its mobile phone technology patents and had requested that the sale of phones, using this technology, be blocked. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) upheld the decision by the International Trade Commission and rejected the bid and ruled that 4 of the patents were not infringed and the 5th one was invalid. The appeal to block sale of Microsoft and ZTE phones was also overruled.
Microsoft spokesman David Cuddy stated that Microsoft was pleased with the decision. ZTE said in a statement that it was pleased that the CAFC confirmed that it was innocent of infringement. Although disappointed with the Court’s decision, William Merritt, CEO of InterDigital said it would push on with the other litigation case against Microsoft that was yet to begin. He said in a statement, “we remain very confident in the strength of our portfolio and in our ability to continue to grow our licensing program”. Last October, InterDigital won a lawsuit against ZTE on the same technology, albeit different patents.
Going forward, InterDigital can ask for the review of the ruling in front of a three-judge Federal Circuit panel or in front of all the active judges specializing in Patent Law at the Court.