“In Apple’s countersuit today, it accuses Nokia of attempting a ‘patent hold-up.’ The patents in question are part of industry standards, and as such Nokia must license them under fair and reasonable terms, argues Apple. But instead, Nokia tried to put the squeeze on Apple,” Erick Schonfeld reports for TechCrunch. “Apple states in its countersuit:”
In dealing with Apple, Nokia has sought to gain an unjust competitive advantage over Apple by charging unwarranted fees to use patents that allegedly cover industry compatability standards.
Schonfeld reports, “Whether or not Apple’s arguments hold water is for a court to decide. But Apple takes the opportunity of this legal battle to make a swipe at Nokia as a flailing competitor. If you read between the lines of the suit, the reason Nokia is not willing to license its patents under ‘fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms’ to Apple is because while Apple was creating a ‘revolutionary change in the mobile phone category’ with the iPhone, Nokia was sitting on its haunches:”
In contrast, Nokia made a different business decision and remained focussed on traditional mobile wireless handsets with conventional user interfaces. As a result, Nokia has rapidly lost share in the market for high-end mobile phones. . . . In response, Nokia chose to copy the iPhone.
Schonfeld reports, “In other words, Nokia is losing in the marketplace so it is falling back on the only thing it has left—its patents.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Now, what was that we said the day Nokia filed suit against Apple? Oh, yeah: “Can’t compete? Litigate.”
It’s not as if Nokia et al. haven’t been warned:
• We’ve been pushing the state-of-the-art in every facet of design… We’ve been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we’ve filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiling iPhone, January 9, 2007
• It’s difficult to judge products that are not yet in the market, but iPhone has sold over 17 million units thus far and has received the highest user satisfaction in multiple independent surveys. We’re years ahead on software and that includes the App Store. We approach this business as a software platform business unlike many who approach it as a hardware product. We like competition as long as they don’t rip off our IP, in which case we will go after them. We will not stand for having our IP ripped-off and we will use any weapons at our disposal [to stop it]. – Apple COO Tim Cook, January 21, 2009