“Finding a winner in the battle between Nokia, the world’s largest cellphone maker, and iPhone maker Apple could take years unless they agree on a licensing deal outside the courtroom,” Tarmo Virki reports for Reuters.
“On Oct 22, Nokia accused U.S.-based Apple of hitching a ‘free-ride’ on the Finnish company’s technology investments,” Virki reports. “Nokia filed its suit in the District Court of Delaware, United States, saying Apple had infringed 10 patents in technologies like wireless data transfer… The patents also cover speech coding, security and encryption, and are infringed by all iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Nokia said.”
Virki reports, “The case is expected to last 2-3 years, and analyst estimates for compensation Nokia is seeking range from $200 million to $1 billion.”
“Apple is expected by analysts and lawyers to countersue, in which case the two suits could be merged,” Virki reports. “‘I would not be surprised to see a counter-claim from Apple citing patents it owns that it believes Nokia is infringing,’ said Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight. ‘This type of tit-for-tat approach has occured in previous patent battles as each player tries to improve its negotiating position.'”
Virki reports, “It is unlikely someone could make a mobile phone without using technologies Nokia has patented, but lawyers said that would not prevent Apple questioning the patents. Apple could ask patent office to invalidate the patents or to review them in the U.S. Patent Office, where interparty re-examination could take 6-7 years. ‘It would definitely cause a ripple in the industry if Apple were to invalidate those patents. Where would it put all the other companies?’ patent lawyer Alton Hornsby from law firm Merchant & Gould said.”
Virki reports, “Nokia has cross-licensing deals with 40 companies, including all top cellphone makers but Apple.”
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