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October 25, 2012

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Nokia eyes 20m yuan in patent court case

NOKIA Corp accused a Shanghai-based technology firm of infringing its patent for inventing a data transfer method and demanded 20 million yuan (US$3.2 million) in compensation yesterday in court.

The Finland-based firm also asked Shanghai Huaqin Telecom Technology Co Ltd to stop producing and selling the offending products, Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court heard. No ruling was issued yesterday.

Nokia said Huaqin produced and sold phones adapted from its patented method of automatically distinguishing text messages from multimedia messages and then choosing a data transfer channel - a mobile telecom network or the Internet - to send the messages.

Huaqin denied having produced and sold the phones, and it did not infringe Nokia's patent.

"The phones in question were discovered in Hong Kong and were bound for Romania. There was no brand name on the phone," Yuan Yang, a lawyer representing Huaqin, told Shanghai Daily.

But Nokia said it bought the phones from Huaqin's employees.

MMS patent

Nokia told the court the accused phones infringed its patent because its built-in MMS editing software, though separate from SMS software, allowed users to send messages to either a phone number or e-mail address.

The patent, Nokia said, was invented to provide a simple platform for users to send messages. It integrated short messaging services and multimedia messaging services into one platform.

Before the patent, the message editing software for SMS and MMS was independent from each other and users had to decide which one to open to send text messages, pictures and audio files.

Liu Fang, another lawyer representing Huaqin, argued the phones didn't infringe Nokia's patent as the MMS software provided users two options - to send the message to a phone number or to an e-mail address rather than automatically recognizing the type of message.

The court heard that Huaqin applied for a patent review by the State Intellectual Property Office and the patent was later determined to be partially invalid.


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