A U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge on Friday issued an initial determination in favor of Nokia Oyj in an action brought by InterDigital Inc against Nokia.

InterDigital alleged in its 2007 complaint that Nokia's 3G WCDMA handsets infringed on four U.S. patents held by InterDigital, and that Nokia engaged in unfair trade practices by selling the handsets for importation into the United States.

The judge found the patents valid and enforceable but said the Nokia handsets do not infringe on the four patents, the companies said in separate statements.

InterDigital said it strongly disagrees with the judge's initial determination and will petition the full commission to review and reverse it.

While we are disappointed with the (judge's) determination, the patents asserted in this case represent a very small fraction of our total 3G portfolio, InterDigital Chief Executive William Merritt said.

The ITC judge's finding was consistent with a UK judgment concluding that the patents were not essential to the UTMS mobile standard, Nokia said.

We believe this initial determination by the ITC combined with earlier UK court decisions provide a strong indication that the asserted value of InterDigital's 3G patent portfolio may have been over-estimated, said Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia vice president of Legal and Intellectual Property

The initial determination will be forwarded to the full commission for review. A final determination is expected by December 14, 2009, Nokia said.

(Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Gary Hill)