Finding winner of Nokia vs Apple legal battle could take years; Apple counter-claim expected

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!“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.”

Read more in the full article here.

22 Comments

  1. Exactly! Wouldn’t the chip companies that make the cell radio, etc already be paying those licensing fees to Nokia? So, why would Apple pay them again? Apple is, only putting together off-the-shelf hardware components, like it did with the iPod.

  2. Well pickled herrings are of my menu, or is that only Sweden? In which case I would only be hitting Ericsson. Must admit I rather think that this may be an attempt by Nokia to get entry to some iPhone patents re multi touch, don’t think that is likely to happen somehow Nokia.

  3. “We’re the only company that owns the whole widget — the hardware, the software, and the operating system. We can take full responsibility for the user experience. We can do things that the other guy can’t do.”

    – Steve Jobs 2002

  4. I think it’s time for a reality check here..

    Firstly, if somebody infringed Apple’s iPhone patents you would want that party to be on trial ASAP, that’s why its hard to believe that behind these comments there would be any substance, it’s really pure mac fanboyism and maybe a feeling of being hurt when somebody “dares” to sue Apple for patent infringement.

    Nokia is not trying to stop sales of the iPhone and isn’t even asking for money damages beyond interest on past due royalties, it just wants a fair license rate for its patents as would Apple if the situation would be reversed.

    Apple and Nokia have been talking about this issue for a long time already and as stated in the article Nokia has cross-licensing deals with 40 companies, including all top cellphone makers but Apple.

    Nokia has far and away the most patents judged essential to the operation of GSM, UMTS and WiFi, now..the patents involved might not “sound” as sexy as some cool patents regarding iPhones UI and multi-touch, but they have nontheless required lot of time and money for Nokia. If Apple uses these patents, then they should pay for them, no question about it.

    These 10 patents are rock-solid, the ones that simply can’t be avoided by GSM, UMTS, or WiFi devices. Based on probability alone, it’s almost certain that the iPhone infringes at least some of those 10 patents.

    iPhone has been a huge success and it’s almost certain that some cell phone vendor will try to use Apple’s iPhone patents without permission, so Apple will ultimately be a net winner even in the war of patents.

  5. Trying to make Nokia seem like the good guy is nonsense. They dragged their feet and fought Qualcomm all the way when they were infringing on Qcomm’s patents. Turnaround is fairplay.

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