Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

Summary: Another day, another round of patent lawsuits. This time, it's Nokia (again) suing Apple (again) over infringements related to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (again).

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TOPICS: Nokia, Apple, Legal
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Another day, another round of patent lawsuits. This time, it's Nokia (again) suing Apple (again) over infringements related to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (again).

In a statement issued today, Nokia said it has filed suit against Apple in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands over the infringement of 13 patents, adding to the allegations of infringement of 24 patents by Apple filed in U.S. courts last year.

The legal battle began In October 2009 when Nokia alleged that the iPhone infringes on Nokia’s patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN (WLAN) standards, specifically 10 patents that cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption. Then, just over a year ago, Apple fired back with a countersuit, alleging that Nokia was infringing on 13 of its patents.

It’s notable that the two sides filed those initial suits over completely different patents. Nokia sued Apple over the inner workings of the iPhone while Apple claimed that Nokia is poaching the user interface from the iPhone.

Then, at the end of December 2009, Nokia filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, arguing that Apple “infringes Nokia patents in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers.” The spat focused on seven Nokia patents and Apple countered that Nokia swiped intellectual property. In a statement, Paul Melin, Nokia's VP for Intellectual Property, said:

The Nokia inventions protected by these patents include several which enable compelling user experiences. For example, using a wiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content, or enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store, both filed more than ten years before the launch of the iPhone.

The specifics of the suits include:

  • The UK filing covers 4 Nokia patents related to touch user interface, on-device app stores, signal noise suppression and modulator structures.
  • Two filing in Germany cover 7 Nokia patents related to touch user interface, antenna structures, messaging functionality and chipsets, as well as 5 Nokia patents related to on-device app stores, caller ID, display illumination and the integration of multiple radios.
  • The filing in the Netherlands covers 2 Nokia patents related to signal noise suppression and data card functionality.

According to reports, Apple has declined comment on these latest suits.

Topics: Nokia, Apple, Legal

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16 comments
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  • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

    How about finding out the patent numbers for us, so we can read the documents and not just be left guessing what they're really about? Thanks!
    kevindarling
  • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

    [i]The legal battle began In October 2009 when Nokia alleged that the iPhone infringes on Nokia?s patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN (WLAN) standards[/i]

    Why was someone allowed to patent a "standard"?
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

      @Hallowed are the Ori
      They didn't patent the standard. They patented the details of *their implementation* of the standard. Meaning others can also implement the standard, but can't use the same techniques behind the scenes.
      PB_z
    • Nokia supposedly wanted more than the going rate

      Nokia had submitted these technologies (patents) to a "standards" body to make them "usable" (licensed) by others but supposedly at reasonable and non-discriminatory rates (ie, you can't charge one licensee more than another), as with many standards.

      According to past articles about this suit, Apple claims that Nokia wanted to charge Apple more than the going rate (thus discriminatory) AND wanted access to Apple IP.

      Apple would have none of it so Nokia sued.
      MacCanuck
      • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

        @MacCanuck Most of this looks like posturing, Nokia is looking for a sympathetic ear. Not only did Nokia want to charge Apple more per unit for the licenses, but also wanted a free ride on Apple?s patents. This is what I gathered from reading the previous court filings. Nokia must be scared, they are reacting like the iPhone is going to outsell their phones. Which is just plain silly, as Nokia sells more phones than Apple does.
        Rick_K
    • Nokia did not patent a standard.

      @Hallowed are the Ori <br><br>The people that developed the standard used technology patented by Nokia. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Primarily what that means is that everyone who makes a phone that uses GSM must pay Nokia a royalty to do so.<br><br>Apple has so far paid Nokia nothing for its use of GSM in the iPhone. Apple for its part is claiming that Nokia wanted to charge them more than others were charged, and so that invalidatates Nokia's claims for recompense. IANAL, but even if Nokia tried to charge Apple more, Apple probably still owes Nokia royalties at the rate that others were charged.<br><br>What I really find interesting is the level of what's covered in the patents. Apple's cover how a cell phone is used, while Nokia's cover whether or not it is a cell phone (that can use GSM).
      Letophoro
      • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

        @Letophoro
        I think a big sticking point was the non-assertation of patents Nokia was seeking. Not only does Nokia want Apple to pay more per license, but also wishes to have cart blanche with Apple?s patents. Should Apple pay a license fee for Nokia?s patents? Hell yes, they should pay what everyone else is paying. Should Nokia pay a license for the IP they (Nokia) is borrowing from Apple? Again Hell yeah, at a fair price. So we have tow companies using each others patents, the license fees would just about cancel each other out. So this is more of the old ?Saber rattling? than anything else.
        Rick_K
      • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

        @Rick_K

        Not that I'm overly knowledgeable about Nokia's business dealings, but I'd guess that the non-assertion clause is pretty standard for getting the rights to use Nokia's patents. I would say that that is especially true when dealing with other manufacturers that probably have some of their patents incorporated into the GSM standard.

        Apple may have a point about the RAND clause of the standard, but what is reasonable (as in per-unit costs) may change over the years.

        That being said, I tend to think Nokia is in a much better position here. Nokia can redesign their phone UI to not use Apple's patents relatively easily. Apple's iPhones must use the GSM standard which involves using Nokia's patents to be legal. Alternatively they can not use the GSM standard, in which case they are useless as cell phones.
        Letophoro
      • Incorrect. The issue is that Apple has paid Nokia

        the standard royalty rate Nokia agreed to when their patented technology became the standard, but Nokia wants Apple to pay MORE than that amount. Apple replied it will pay the amount all other phone makers pay. Nokia sued.
        frgough
      • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

        @frgough

        Here's a <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/oct2009/gb20091022_488948.htm">link</a> to an article where Nokia states:<br><i>In a statement, Nokia said Apple has refused to pay for use of intellectual property developed by Nokia that lets handsets connect to third-generation, or 3G, wireless networks, as well as to wireless local area networks. "Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation," Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia vice-president for legal and intellectual property, said in the statement. An Apple representative declined to comment. </i>

        Based on that and other articles that 20 seconds of google searches found, it appears that Apple owes some serious royalties and has not paid any of them as yet.
        Letophoro
  • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

    Nokia is basing its assessment on the unit cost of the "phone"; Apple wants to pay in line what other manufacturers of less expensive phones have paid. It would seem reasonable that if Nokia owns that patents that Nokia can decide whether they receive royalties based on a percentage of the unit cost or a fixed price per unit.
    ihatemac
    • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

      @ihatemac Based on your username I suspect you would see anything that makes Apple pay more as being fair but that isn't necessarily the case. From what little I have read it is my understanding that Nokia is restricted to licensing the patented technology to whoever wants to use is at the same rate no matter what the price of the final product is. If it was based on final product cost then there would be a lot of varying prices and wouldn't really make any sense.
      non-biased
  • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

    Hmm. You can patent a "wiping gesture"? Someday someone will think to patent "a phone screen that you look at", or "a phone that gives off sound".
    SMparky
  • apple it's like microsoft...

    Steal and profit
    picpocbalanel@...
  • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

    Ya' know, I'm glad I'm not a fan of Nokia...
    ZackCDLVI
  • RE: Nokia files another round of patent suits against Apple

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