AT DEADLINE: PATENT DISPUTE SETTLED

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Qualcomm Inc. agreed to pay InterDigital Technology Corp. $5.5 million in an out-of-court settlement of the companies’ Code Division Multiple Access patent dispute.

In return for the one-time payment, Qualcomm will receive a royalty-free, worldwide license to use and sublicense ITC’s CDMA patents and certain future CDMA patents, to make and sell products for Interim Standard 95 wireless applications, including-but not limited to-cellular, personal communications services, wireless local loop and satellite.

ITC, and its parent, InterDigital Communications Corp., filed a lawsuit against San Diego-based Qualcomm in April 1993, alleging Qualcomm’s CDMA products infringed on three ITC patents. Qualcomm filed a counter lawsuit. Under the settlement agreement, both suits have been dismissed.

The settlement relates to CDMA only and doesn’t affect ITC’s Time Division Multiple Access patents for Global System for Mobile communications or the North American TDMA digital cellular standard, IS-54.

“We believe that we do not infringe the InterDigital patents at issue, but we recognize that legal actions can continue for several years through trials and appeals,” said Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Qualcomm chief executive officer. “This settlement agreement permits us to focus our efforts on commercializing our CDMA products and technology.”

Nokia building new plant

Finland-based Nokia Corp. is building a 281,900 square-foot cellular phone manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

The plant, located at the Alliance Gateway international business park is slated to open in late 1995, and will replace the manufacturing facility Nokia has maintained near the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport since late 1992.

Adjacent to the new plant will be the 142,100 square-foot distribution center Nokia also is building. The distribution center is scheduled to open in January. Nokia said it is becoming one of Fort Worth’s largest employers.

Nokia reported a 500 percent increase in earnings for the first eight months of 1994, compared to the same period last year. The company said it is investing in its production capacity to handle the tremendous demand for cellular phones in the United States.

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