Some companies swap Christmas cards. Others swap lawsuits. Apple has matched Nokia's patent lawsuit with a countersuit of its own.
Apple didn't pull any punches in its countersuit (download complaint PDF), which alleges that Nokia is poaching patents ranging from user interface to power consumption to signal processing. The specific patents in question are listed here:
And handy links to the patents via Digital Daily: No. 5, 634, 074, No. 6,343, 263 B1, No. 5,915,131, No. 5,555,369, No. 6,239,795 B1, No. 5,315,703, No. 6,189,034 B1, No. 7,469,381, B2, No.RE 39, 486 E, No. 5,455,854, No. 7,383,453 B2, No. 5,848,105, and No. 5,379,431.
In a nutshell, Apple said that Nokia chose to focus on traditional wireless handsets and lost share in high-end phones. The solution for Nokia was to copy the iPhone.
A few money excerpts:
In October, Nokia sued Apple alleging that the iPHone infringes Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN (WLAN) standards. The 10 patents Nokia sued Apple over covered wireless data, speech encoding, security and encryption.
In its complaint (download complaint PDF), Nokia argued that Apple's iPhone "takes advantage of continued investments by Nokia to build today's communications protocols. By refusing to compensate Nokia for its patented technologies, Apple is attempting to get a "free-ride" on the billions of dollars that Nokia has invested in research and development."
It's notable that the two sides are suing each other over completely different patents. Nokia is suing Apple over the inner workings of the iPhone. Meanwhile, Apple claims that Nokia is poaching the user interface from the iPhone. Add it up and we have dueling quotes to go along with the lawsuits.
Here's Ilkka Rahnasto, vice president, legal & intellectual property at Nokia, in October:
"The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for. Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation."
And Apple's Bruce Sewell, general counsel on Thursday:
"Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours."
Good times. Now the judge can sort it out assuming the parties don't settle. Chances are they'll just cross license and call it a day.