Nokia sues Apple for alleged patent infringement

Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Nokia said on December 21 it filed a number of lawsuits against Apple in the US and Germany alleging that Apple products infringe 32 Nokia patents.

Analysts said the move could herald a revival of “smartphone patent wars.”

The day before Nokia’s move, Apple had taken legal action against Acacia Research Corp and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc accusing them of colluding with Nokia to extract exorbitant revenues unfairly from Apple.

Nokia said that since agreeing a license covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011 “Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products.”

Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said: “Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products.

“After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights.”

Nokia said the actions have been filed with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and the regional courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich in Germany, with 32 patents in suit across all of the actions, covering technologies such as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding.

Nokia said it is in the process of filing further actions in other jurisdictions.

Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock told Reuters: “We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s own inventions they had nothing to do with.”