Like good ol' Uncle Joe who always gives away the punch line of a joke too early, investors in Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation InterDigital Communications (NASDAQ:IDCC) got the best news ahead of today's released earnings. While earnings were solid, news of positive progress in two major legal cases will make a bigger difference going forward.

Total revenue came in at $58.7 million this quarter, of which $55.9 million was recurring royalties from licensees of InterDigital's patents -- this level of royalties was slightly above the company's projections last quarter. Of this, $5.8 million fell to the bottom line as the company enjoyed lower operating expenses, as well as a decrease in litigation and arbitration costs.

Earlier this week, InterDigital reportedly made up for some of the footing it lost against Samsung in its ongoing dispute at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). According to the company, the arbitral tribunal found in InterDigital's favor, ruling that Samsung cannot use the 2006 settlement agreement between InterDigital and Nokia to avoid its obligation (determined by a prior arbitration panel) to pay over $150 million in royalties owed on Samsung's sale of 2G handsets.

Then the company scored another victory in a case against Nokia, in which an appeals court reversed a lower court ruling that allows InterDigital's case against Nokia to move forward with the ITC. While both these cases may take a long time to resolve, both are significant in determining potentially hundreds of millions in royalties for InterDigital.

The company hopes resolution of these two cases will help get it to its goal of having the top five wireless device manufacturers signed to a license to sell third-generation (3G) devices. This would mean having the names Motorola (NYSE:MOT) and Sony Ericsson on the list as well. The company is already well positioned with licenses inked with Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as Blackberrys and the new 3G iPhone continue to prove popular.

While earnings may be crimped next quarter as the company plans on higher expenses, it's likely that more ups and downs in InterDigital's stock will come from all the legal tussles rather than the actual financials reported each quarter. Only if the company can settle some major scores, as Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) recently did with Nokia, will InterDigital see some semblance of stable growth going forward.

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Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, Fool contributor Dave Mock still doesn't believe in Bigfoot. He owns shares of Motorola and Qualcomm, and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Apple and InterDigital are Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool has a disclosure policy that has rarely been captured in film footage.