Apple, Nokia Looking for Suits to Be Heard Mid-2012

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-03-12 Print this article Print

Apple and Nokia have requested that the patent infringement cases each has filed against the other be held mid-2012, according to a report. The same day, however, Nokia filed a request in U.S. District Court, asking that Apple's antitrust claims be thrown out.

The Apple-Nokia patent battles could continue on for more than two years, according to a report published March 12.

Pointing to a court filing, Reuters reported that the companies are asking that a trial on their respective patent lawsuits be scheduled for mid-2012, putting the industry on notice that the legal struggle between the mobile handset giants could take some time to resolve.

If Nokia has its way, however, that time frame may be cut short. Reportedly, Nokia has also asked a U.S. District Court judge to throw out Apple's antitrust claims, saying that the accusations are taking away attention from Apple's infringements on Nokia patents, according to a Business Week report, citing court papers filed March 12.

Back-and-forth disputes between the manufacturers began in October, when Nokia filed a suit in a U.S. district court alleging that Apple's iPhone infringes on 10 patents - a scenario that  Reuters later reported could cost Apple up to $1 billion.

In a press statement following the filing, Nokia accused Apple  of "trying to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation." 

Apple responded in kind that December, alleging that Nokia infringed on 13 Apple patents and announcing in a  statement: "Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own  technologies, not just by stealing ours."

Additional allegations  followed, and each manufacturer additionally filed claims with the International Trade Commission. In January, the ITC agreed to investigate  Nokia's complaint against Apple, which entailed an infringement of seven patents in the areas of user  interface, camera, antenna and power-management technologies.  

Likewise, in February, the ITC agreed to investigate Apple's  Jan. 15 filing against Nokia, which alleged that nine of its patents were being infringed on and requested  that Nokia be made to stop selling the devices in the United States.  

Analyst Ezra Gottheil, with Technology Business Research, has  called the filings "a form of negotiation," and says it's difficult to know who's really in the right.

"What they're involved in here is  nothing life or death to either company; it's just a matter of how much one is  going to pay the other for the rights to some technology," Gottheil told eWEEK, at the time of Apple's retaliatory filing.

Apple has since also sued the Google Nexus One maker, HTC, and Motorola filed a complaint against BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, which the U.S. ITC has also agreed to investigate.    


Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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