Apple thumbing nose at Nokia? Nokia sues them over wireless patents

Apple thumbing nose at Nokia? Nokia sues them over wireless patents

Summary: You can't argue with the success of the Apple iPhone, especially here in the US. However, Nokia believes that Apple infringes on their patents for GSM, UMTS, and WLAN standards so it is suing Apple in a Delaware court. There are ten patents called out in the suit that cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed by all Apple iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. The details of the patents were not in the press release, but I have to wonder why the iPhone is different than all the other smartphones using these same wireless technologies and maybe it has to do with the way they all work together or something.

SHARE:

You can't argue with the success of the Apple iPhone, especially here in the US. However, Nokia believes that Apple infringes on their patents for GSM, UMTS, and WLAN standards so it is suing Apple in a Delaware court. There are ten patents called out in the suit that cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed by all Apple iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. The details of the patents were not in the press release, but I have to wonder why the iPhone is different than all the other smartphones using these same wireless technologies and maybe it has to do with the way they all work together or something. According to the press release, approximately 40 other companies, including virtually all leading mobile device vendors, have worked our license agreements with Nokia.

Nokia has not had much success in the US and their market share here has declined siginificantly over the years, even counting their "dumb" phones. From Nokia's point of view, I hope this lawsuit has some valid evidence because I don't think this will cause people to love the Nokia name if iPhone's are affected by the lawsuit. Then again, Nokia spent billions developing these technologies that all the other players have acknowledged is valuable so they should be compensated accordingly for the billions they spent.

It seems like Apple may have turned their nose to Nokia regarding these technologies that everyone else has already worked out with Nokia. Another sign of Apple arrogance?

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Legal, Mobility, Networking, Nokia, Smartphones, Wi-Fi

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

79 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Yes, Nokia has to be frustrated, but, they should put their efforts into an

    Android phone and forget the patent lawsuits.
    DonnieBoy
    • I agree with Nokia.....

      They developed this stuff and spent their money to do it so not sure why stealing is alright in your mind?

      There has to be order and those that violate must pay to keep the order. I don't think we want a country like China that will steal and use your hard earned patents to make billions themselves. This is not a software patent so there isn't any shaky ground on this argument.
      OhTheHumanity
      • That would be if you assume those with patents are the real innovators, or,

        do they just have good patent lawyers that know
        how to patent the obvious and make it sound like
        they were brilliant.
        DonnieBoy
        • Look....

          If you think that is the case that is your opinion. I would venture to say that since 40 other handset makers have signed deals that this is not something they are just cooking up to steal profit from Apple. I doubt seriously that Apple had the time and resources to invent new cell technology that does not violate these patents.

          Gotta use your common sense sometimes and as I stated this is not a software patent so its not as murky as you would want it to be.
          OhTheHumanity
          • No, YOU look

            First, it's 10 patents. Second, it's 40 companies, not 40 handset makers.
            Hell, are there even 40 handset makers?! Finally, from Nokia's press
            release:

            [i]"The patents cover wireless data, speech coding, security and
            encryption and are infringed by all Apple iPhone models shipped since
            the iPhone was introduced in 2007."[/i]

            So, it is most certainly a "software patent", or more accurately up to 10 of
            them.
            matthew_maurice
          • Sorry.....

            I meant 40 companies, not 40 handset makers. My complete apologies to all that were mislead.

            Ok there may be software involved, but these are also technologies encompassing hardware as well. Sorry again for misleading the herd.

            I know it hurts but all the others signed on and I would imagine going through 40 companies that one of them would have atleast resisted if this were a farse. Just my perspective, but a pretty straightforward one I might add.
            OhTheHumanity
          • It doesn't hurt me

            I've got no dog in this fight, other than then enjoyment I get from
            watching multi-billion dollar international companies subsidize the
            lifestyles of battalions of attorneys.

            However, what you call "perspective" I call assumption.
            Straightforward it may be, but it's still an assumption. Nokia's press
            release is incredibly vague, and I'm curious about the phrase "[m]uch
            of this intellectual property, including the patents in suit, has been
            declared essential to industry standards." There's a lot more here than
            any of us will ever know. I doubt this thing will ever get near a
            Delaware district courtroom, but I hope it does (why should EU courts
            have all the fun?)!

            Finally, fanboy or hater, you've got to ask yourself; don't you think
            Apple counsel has enough experience with patent disputes to know
            when to deal and when to take it to court?
            matthew_maurice
          • Your point being...?

            That's irrelevant I'm afraid - software patents are still legally binding.
            RangerFish
          • Look ....

            I think they are out to make a fast buck. If it was Violating their patents. they should have filed an injuction the minute the specs for the first iPhone was Published. Not 5 years after horse got out the gate.
            pjones
          • Injunctions

            Why would they file an injunction immediately if they were involved in good-faith negotiations?
            brichter
    • Patents...

      If Apple didn't get an agreement to use Nokia's IP, then Apple should face a court of law and be held to account.

      Considering all the other phone makers realize this IP has a value, it's hard for Apple to claim it doesn't or that they should pay.

      Nokia should also just beat Apple with a better product (droid or otherwise).
      Fark
      • I would have to see the patents, but, often, both companies develop the

        technology independently, it is not one robbing
        the other, it is just that one patented it first,
        and even then, it is obvious stuff that anybody
        developing a phone would do.

        The patents just stifle innovation and drive up
        costs for consumers.
        DonnieBoy
        • Again.......

          These are not software patents or a patent of an idea. These are actual hardware developed patents and they do serve a purpose. I know software and idea patents are questionable, but not something like this where there is actual real science behind the innovation. I would bet if your company developed such a product you would not be willing to post it up on a website for everyone else to share in your R&D budget.

          Please use some common sense and stop saying things that make your point look good when in reality you would not be so willing to give up your IP, especially when it cost you billions to develop. I just don't understand why everyone these days has to be a hypocrit, never taking a stand and sticking to it.
          OhTheHumanity
        • lame

          That has to be one of the lamest posts I've seen on this blog(and that's saying something).The standards were developed between 85 and 91 - so are you saying that Apple has been working on the iphone for the last 20+ years. Try learning a little history instead of being a apologetic fanboy!
          leupole
  • Wasn't the license paid by the chip makers?

    Double-dippin maybe?
    Net-Tech_z
    • Maybe, but probably not.

      The thing about patents is that they can cover things like how GSM operates. Any technology that interoperates with GSM is, by definition, using the patented technology. It doesn't matter if it uses chips or vacuum tubes.

      If Apple built and sold a phone that uses GSM (they did) and did not pay the appropriate fees to use the patented technology, then they infringed on the patent(s).
      Letophoro
      • Correction

        If Apple built a phone that uses GSM in Nokia's patented way...

        There. I stripped out the agenda for you.
        frgough
        • No agenda.

          <i>If Apple built a phone that uses GSM in Nokia's patented way...</i>

          Interesting thing about GSM, it's a standard. It also uses patented technologies. One of those technologies is how voice is carried over GSM. If Apple carries voice over GSM, then the iPhone either:
          Uses the patented technology.
          -OR-
          Is not GSM compliant and as such, is illegal to operate in the US.

          There's really not a whole lot of gray area there. That's the reason that everyone that makes a GSM handset pays Nokia for a license.

          That being said, I really don't care if Apple did or did not license the technologies it uses in the iPhone. I use an unlocked Nokia N79 that I purchased at the Nokia store in New York City.
          Letophoro
          • Ah, so you drop 30% of all your phone calls?

            Oh, wait, you [b]didn't[/b] buy the iPhone? Good call! 30% of all iPhone calls get dropped. :)
            NonZealot
          • Still pushing that lie?

            Wow! Your zealotry really is amazing!

            It's been shown over and over that the 30% that you keep pushing is
            false. You really have no shame, have you?
            msalzberg