The legal struggle between Apple and Nokia continues, with Apple filing a Jan. 15 complaint requesting that Nokia be banned from importing phones that allegedly infringe on Apple patents. The two are expected to settle their patent allegations before actually reaching a courtroom.
Nokia and Apple are at it again.
On Jan. 15, Apple filed a complaint
with the International Trade Commission, requesting that
Nokia be banned from importing phones that, Apple alleges, infringe on its
The move follows several back-and-forth lawsuits the manufacturers have
filed against each other in the last several months.
"Legal claims followed by multiple counterclaims are commonplace and
they can drag out the legal process for some time," Neil Mawston, an
analyst with Strategy Analytics, told eWEEK. "It seems Nokia and Apple
have been unable to agree on licensing terms in private over the past few
months, so both firms have resorted to legal action in the public courts as a
In late December, Nokia filed complaints against Apple
with both the ITC and
a U.S. District Court in Delaware,
alleging that Apple is infringing on seven of its patents related to device
construction methods, camera sensor optimization and touch-sensitive screens.
patents, Nokia said in the Dec. 29 complaint, enable it to "differentiate
its products from those of its competitors."
On Dec. 12, Apple
had filed a suit of its own,
alleging that Nokia infringed on 13 of its
patents. "Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own
technologies, not just by stealing ours," Bruce Sewell, Apple general
counsel and senior vice president, wrote in a statement on the Apple Website.
That suit followed from legal proceedings Nokia initially filed against
Apple on Oct. 22, beginning the back-and-forth. In the suit, Nokia alleged that
Apple infringed on 10 its patents for GSM, UMTS (Universal Mobile
Telecommunications System) and WLAN standards.
Ilkka Rahnasto, vice president of Nokia's legal and intellectual property
division, said in a statement Nokia had invested more than $60 billion in R&D
in the last two decades, and that the industry was benefiting from Nokia's
"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," Rahnasto continued in
"Most intellectual property disputes in the mobile industry tend to
drag on for months or years, and the Nokia-Apple case is unlikely to be
different," said Strategy Analytics' Mawston. "Patent definitions can
be relatively subjective, which often causes lengthy arguments about who or
what is correct or incorrect."
However, Mawston said he expects that "Nokia and Apple will come to
some form of agreement before any court case takes place, but it will
take a while for both parties to thrash out terms that are favorable to