Mobile device maker Nokia announced on Oct. 22 that it had filed a complaint against Apple in a U.S. district court, alleging that Apple's iPhone infringes on 10 patents Nokia holds for GSM, UMTS and WLAN standards.
"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," Ilkka Rahnasto, vice president of Nokia's legal and intellectual property division, said in a statement.
Rahnasto continued, "Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree [to] appropriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation."
According to Nokia's statement, it has invested over $60 billion in R&D in the last two decades, producing "one of the wireless industry's strongest and broadest IPR portfolios, with over 10,000 patent families." Further, approximately 40 mobile device vendors currently have licensing agreements with Nokia, "allowing the industry to benefit from Nokia's innovation."
The 10 patents in the suit are said to relate to technologies that enable devices to be compatible with more than one of the GSM, UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and WLAN standards. "The patents cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed by all Apple iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007," Nokia's statement went on to say.
While Nokia is the leading phone maker worldwide, it's been struggling financially for some time. On Oct. 15 it announced that losses for the third quarter were 559 million Euro, or over $838 million, reflecting a loss of approximately 19.8 percent year over year.
Apple, conversely, exceeded analyst predictions on Oct. 19 when it announced fourth-quarter revenue of $9.87 billion. Over the quarter, Apple sold 3.05 million Macs and 7.4 million iPhones.
Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.