Nokia sues Apple claiming iPhone infringement of Nokia GSM, UMTS and WLAN patents

Nokia today sued Apple claiming iPhone patent infringement. Nokia’s press release, verbatim:

Nokia sues Apple in Delaware District Court for infringement of Nokia GSM, UMTS and WLAN patents

October 22, 2009

Espoo, Finland – Nokia announced that it has today filed a complaint against Apple with the Federal District Court in Delaware, alleging that Apple’s iPhone infringes Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN (WLAN) standards.

As a leading innovator in wireless communications, Nokia has created one of the strongest and broadest patent portfolios in the industry, investing more than EUR 40 billion in R&D during the last two decades. Much of this intellectual property, including the patents in suit, has been declared essential to industry standards. Nokia has already successfully entered into license agreements including these patents with approximately 40 companies, including virtually all the leading mobile device vendors, allowing the industry to benefit from Nokia’s innovation.

The ten patents in suit relate to technologies fundamental to making devices which are compatible with one or more of the GSM, UMTS (3G WCDMA) and wireless LAN standards. 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.

“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,” said Ilkka Rahnasto, Vice President, Legal & Intellectual Property at Nokia. “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.”

During the last two decades, Nokia has invested approximately EUR 40 billion in research and development and built one of the wireless industry’s strongest and broadest IPR portfolios, with over 10,000 patent families. Nokia is a world leader in the development of GSM technologies and its evolution to UMTS / 3G WCDMA as well as wireless LAN, which is also demonstrated by Nokia’s strong patent position in these technologies.

Source: Nokia

MacDailyNews Take: Can’t compete? Litigate.


  1. Given that all of the telecoms/comms stuff in the iPhone comes from other chip manufacturers like Broadcom, surely Nokia’s beef would be with those companies.

    Unless they’re on a fishing expedition.

  2. If there is any truth (and proof) to this, then Nokia is entitled to standard licensing fees, which Apple certainly is aware of and would naturally accept…I can’t see any reason for a law suit other than the lame publicity to pump up Nokia’s name in the face of a disgraceful quarterly performance and loss.

    Why the big legal press announcement, instead or formal industry protocol and agreements?

    Nokia is so desperate and reeling from being trashed by the iPhone that they’re trying to take away some of Apple’s iPhone thunder and lightning that’s responsible for it’s massive earnings loss and disgraceful underestimation and dis-ing of the iPhone.

    Kind of reminds me of Dell’s and Palm’s dis…

  3. Apple does not make the radios that connect to any of these.

    Apple purchases them and incorporates them in the device, that uses the patented tech, should it not be up to the manufacturers of the radios to get licenses?

    The Wi-Fi chip from Broadcom (if WiFi is infringing then Broadcom should have gotten a license) or Infineon Technologies for the WCDMA radio.

  4. <i>”@ breeze

    If there is any truth (and proof) to this, then Nokia is entitled to standard licensing fees, which Apple certainly is aware of and would naturally accept.”<i>

    How dare you say this?? Are a a Microsoft Troll! This is MDN. Apple and Steve Jobs are allowed to do anything they want and the world is just supposed to bow down and ignore silly things like patent infringements..

    Get with the program…

  5. Legal battles on things like industry standard technologies is foolish. All industry standard technologies need to be royalty free. If company X (in this case Nokia) want’s their IP to be an Industry standard then they need to give up all claims for royalties and transfer the patent to a non-profit IP holding organization that would make it available as a standard for free. Failure to do so, should result in the industry picking a standard that will be free. This would or course prevent these types of case over patent claims for so called standard technologies.

    IP Patent Claims on Industry standards in dumb and only benefits the legal firms involved.

  6. @Alx: Steve Jobs is usually right, reasonable,tries to keep an open mind and his long standing record certainly proves this. If he wasn’t Apple would not be what it is today, not would Pixar…

    It wouldn’t hurt to know the facts and details of anything before barking and making mountains out of molehills, you know…it’s kind of like premature ejaculation….

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