Judge Halts Apple, Nokia Patent Case Pending ITC Investigation

The judge overseeing Apple and Nokia's patent violation case in Delaware has temporarily put the proceedings on hold while waiting for a U.S. International Trade Commission investigation to run its course, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Nokia filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in October 2009 over claims that the wireless technology the company uses in most of its products violate patents the cell phone maker owns. Apple fired back with its own lawsuit against Nokia in December for allegedly violating several patents it owns.

Both companies also filed complaints against each other with the ITC, and the organization has since agreed to formally launch investigations.

Apple's General Counsel and senior vice president, Bruce Sewell, underscored the tension between the two companies when he commented "Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours."

There's no word yet on how long the ITC investigation may take, but based on previous investigations, it seems likely the federal court case in Delaware will be on hold for some time.