The German Federal Patent Court has ruled that a Qualcomm GSM patent claim against Nokia is invalid, according to the Finnish phone giant.

"This is the third court to conclude that Qualcomm's patent claims against Nokia are without merit. The United Kingdom High Court, and the US International Trade Commission, have both ruled asserted Qualcomm GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) patents to be invalid," said Nokia spokeswoman Anne Eckert.

Today's decision is further evidence that Qualcomm does not have relevant and valid GSM patents and that it overstates its role as a wireless innovator, according to Nokia.

Nokia and Qualcomm are embroiled in a bitter battle that started back in 2006, at the heart of which is a licensing agreement between the two that expired in April last year.

"Nokia will be happy this ruling went their way, but this is not the end of this story by any means," said Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight.

The two companies are already gearing up for another trial in Delaware, which started on Wednesday, and in Germany yet another hearing is scheduled for October 22.

The stakes are very high; any fraction of a percentage in a final settlement between Qualcomm and Nokia will have a big impact, since Nokia sells such a large number of phones, according to Wood.

Qualcomm wasn't available for a comment.

But in the report for its second quarter 2008 Qualcomm wrote that as result of the dispute, it is not recording royalty revenue attributable to Nokia’s sales after April 9, 2007, until a court awards damages or the disputes are otherwise resolved by agreement with Nokia.