Apple-Nokia Patent Trial On Hold Pending Trade Agency Review

The Associated Press reports that a federal court judge in Delaware has placed a hold on the patent dispute between Apple and Nokia pending review of similar, separate cases by the U.S International Trade Commission (ITC).

The judge signed an order Wednesday staying litigation in a lawsuit in which Nokia claims that Apple is infringing on seven Nokia patents in products ranging from the iPhone to computers.

The order also covers counterclaims in which Apple alleges that Nokia has infringed on nine Apple patents that are the subject of an ITC complaint by Apple.

Apple and Nokia filed claims against each other both in federal court and with the ITC, and the ITC agreed January to review Nokia's case while taking on Apple's case several weeks ago. Because the ITC typically moves more quickly than the courts, it is a popular venue for patent disputes to be addressed. While the ITC can not award damages, it can halt imports of infringing devices, serving as a significant motivator for companies to settle their disputes.