IDCC is likely to be a tough opponent for Nokia. In 2006, Nokia paid more than $250 million to IDCC for certain 2G patents the companies had been negotiating over for years. The payoff validated IDCC's 2G patent claims and may imply that the 3G patents are valid as well. But Nokia is not a particularly charitable company when it comes to handing out licensing fees.
Until this week, IDCC probably felt anxious about how to press its case against Nokia on the 3G patent front. But Broadcom's triumph has changed the game.
Small companies now know they have a real chance of getting an ITC injunction on the import of phones using unlicensed patents. And the news about Verizon and one other U.S. operator agreeing to pay Broadcom directly opens up a delicious new cash stream: You can always hit on operators if the chip vendor or the phone manufacturer refuses to cough up.
IDCC is an old battle-ax when it comes to patent fights, so I don't think this suit is trivial or impulsive. The company in all likelihood decided to wait until the small chance of a presidential veto in the Broadcom case passed before it decided to pounce with a well-prepared suit.