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Apple Counter-Sues Nokia Over Patents 137

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fight-fire-with-more-lawyers dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "About two months ago Nokia sued Apple for infringing Nokia patents in its iPhone. The 10 patents in the lawsuit, filed in the US state of Delaware, relate to technologies fundamental for devices using GSM, UMTS and/or local area network (LAN) 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. In the latest development to the case, Apple said Friday that it had filed its own suit against Nokia, countering Nokia's claims of patent infringement with its own."
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Apple Counter-Sues Nokia Over Patents

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  • Just a small part (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeMacK (788889) on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:48PM (#30407416)
    "The patents Apple has allegedly infringed cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption"

    Uhhh...so like the whole frickin' thing...

  • by Teese (89081) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <lezeeb>> on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:50PM (#30407428)
    Apple is complaining that Nokia isn't offering the Standards based cell phones on Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory basis? Isn't Nokia required to do that as part of submitting those patents as part of the GSM standard. It stated that in the lawsuit that nokia wanted a patent cross-license agreement with apple for the rights to the GSM patents. That's not reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
  • Resolution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:53PM (#30407464)
    Expect both cases to be dropped and an announcement of mutual licensing between the two companies in ... about three or four weeks.

    A classic example of patents being used defensively by Apple to counter Nokia's offensive use.
  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:58PM (#30407520)

    There will still be a winner in this case... the lawyers.

  • by BlackSnake112 (912158) on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:58PM (#30407526)

    A lot of banks are headquartered there. Wait... good idea.

  • Re:Resolution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vintermann (400722) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:13PM (#30407680) Homepage

    Apple's multitouch patent is ridiculous, and it's one I don't think they want to license. While Nokia is doing the suing, I think this is a reasonable pre-emptive strike. That patent strangles smartphone competition.

  • by Vintermann (400722) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:14PM (#30407694) Homepage

    ... and hope they hurt each other as much as possible.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:41PM (#30407984)

    What's Apple supposed to do? Just eventually lose the patent case and pay up? The MAD patent defense is considered one of the "necessary evils" of the tech world.

    When someone punches you, you punch back. Even if your principal is one of those idiots who, instead of trying to find out who thew the first punch, or who provoked who, just suspends both students.

  • Re:Resolution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:55PM (#30408094)
    Yes, the fact that they agreed to license them on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis when the technology they held patents for became the GSM standard. Expecting Apple to cross-license all their iPhone specific patents when every other cellphone manufacturer pays a small licensing fee is neither reasonable nor non-discriminatory.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:57PM (#30408110)

    I looked through some of those patents. What a joke, Themes, Serial device detection, VNC/RD/BBS. Out of the ones I read, not one of them really should have been granted a patent... I thought the patent office was lousy before; wow -- talk about bogus patents.

  • by CityZen (464761) on Friday December 11, 2009 @07:03PM (#30408170) Homepage

    > When someone punches you, you punch back.

    I think you're kind of missing the point. We shouldn't be behaving like cave-men in the first place.

    True, the corporate environment that all companies currently exist in tends to encourage this behavior. But the nature of this corporate environment is hurting everyone (except the lawyers), so how long will it be before we can all evolve and pursue better things?

    Reminds me of an anecdote concerning the game Mule [wikipedia.org]. I played this game with my brothers, and we always competed against each other. When I mentioned the game to a friend of mine, she said "That's a great game. What was the richest your colony ever got?" I responded with some score I remembered at the time. She said something to the effect of "Why so low? We usually got 10x that!" It had not even occurred to me that one might try to play the game cooperatively, thus benefiting the colony as a whole, rather than the individual player.

    Somehow, mankind as a whole needs to make a similar observation.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Friday December 11, 2009 @07:27PM (#30408460)
    Apple is not doing this "because someone sued them". Apple made it clear that they were out to block Nokia from touch screen phones:

    "We are watching the landscape," Cook told financial analysts. "We like competition, as long as they don't rip off our IP, and if they do, we're going to go after anybody that does."

    (see here [informationweek.com])

    Apple has been building up for a patent war [reghardware.co.uk] and so Nokia has no choice other than to strike before their N900 phones [nokia.com] make them vulnerable. Remember Apple's lawsuit happy history was what caused the League for Programming Freedom [progfree.org]. I guess the fact that so many seem to believe that Nokia is the agressor here (remember, they've been trying to Negotiate for years before this suit came out) really does show that Apple can distort reality.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @08:14PM (#30408952)

    Lighten up Francis. This type of patent 'show' is common when these types of lawsuits happen. They basically give each company a good bargaining chip, and then they take it offline and settle out of court. This is about as 'by the book' as it gets.

  • Re:Resolution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Friday December 11, 2009 @08:37PM (#30409128)

    A classic example of patents being used defensively by Apple to counter Nokia's offensive use.

    You make it sound as if Apple is the aggrieved party here. But Apple has been pilfering other people's ideas and products liberally in order to create the iPhone. Apple's contributions have largely been in excellent packaging, but they have innovated fairly little. Nokia, on the other hand, has produce innovative phones with bad user interfaces. I think the "offender" here really is Apple, and Nokia deserves a cut of Apple's financial success, given the relative contributions of the two companies to the mobile phone market.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Friday December 11, 2009 @09:07PM (#30409364)

    Apple is not doing this "because someone sued them". Apple made it clear that they were out to block Nokia from touch screen phones:

    Nonsense. Nokia *has* touch screen phones. Apple did not sue them.

    Apple has been building up for a patent war

    Defensively, as evidenced by the fact that they did not sue first.

    Nokia has no choice other than to strike before their N900 phones make them vulnerable.

    That doesn't make any sense. How does initiating a suit about completely different technologies change anything with regards to touch screen patents? Nokia did not stave off a suit by their preemptive strike. In fact, they *brought it about*.

    Remember Apple's lawsuit happy history was what caused the League for Programming Freedom.

    Uh, that's a suit from twenty years ago, and one in which their partner (Microsoft) took proprietary knowledge from Apple to create a copy of their prized OS. This wasn't some sort of patent-troll style suit.

    I guess the fact that so many seem to believe that Nokia is the agressor here

    Because *they are*. They struck first. How is that so difficult?

    (remember, they've been trying to Negotiate for years before this suit came out)

    So, again, Nokia went after Apple first?

    really does show that Apple can distort reality.

    Those clever Apple folks! They can distort reality so completely that it wraps completely around on itself to where it started. Nokia struck first. Apple has been able to twist things so thoroughly that it even *looks* like Nokia struck first. Astounding!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @10:16PM (#30409988)

    Defensively, as evidenced by the fact that they did not sue first.

    Indeed... Apple did not sue first... it just stole Nokia's patent technology first.

    Uh, that's a suit from twenty years ago, and one in which their partner (Microsoft) took proprietary knowledge from Apple to create a copy of their prized OS. This wasn't some sort of patent-troll style suit.

    You mean the lawsuit that Microsoft won, by proving that their product was built differently from Apple's and did not duplicate or resemble any Apple code? It is widely known that Apple and Microsoft both borrowed their windowing OS concepts from Xerox.

    Because *they are*. They struck first. How is that so difficult?

    Apple was the initial aggressor. Apple made use of patented technologies built around the standardization of GSM and WCDMA. Apple did not participate in the creation of the standards, the development process of the standards, the design of the standards, or the R&D of the standards. Apple is not a member of the standards body. Nokia is protecting its patents and demanding a higher royalty from Apple than from companies who are members of the standard body because Apple did not and does not contribute to the standards body. This is Nokia's right under the agreements made in the formation of the standards body.

    So, again, Nokia went after Apple first?

    Apple went first by willfully and knowingly utilizing Nokia's patented technologies.

    Those clever Apple folks! They can distort reality so completely that it wraps completely around on itself to where it started. Nokia struck first. Apple has been able to twist things so thoroughly that it even *looks* like Nokia struck first. Astounding!

    Again, it is Apple that "struck first". If Apple had negotiated prior to creating devices that infringe on Nokia's patents then Nokia would not be forced to sue.

  • Re:Resolution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:32AM (#30411318)

    Apple's contributions have largely been in excellent packaging, but they have innovated fairly little. Nokia, on the other hand, has produce innovative phones with bad user interfaces.

    So someone who has put in the work to do proper human interface design, market analysis and HCI should just roll over and show their collective jugular to a competitor that can't do any of these things, in fact, hasn't been able to do any of thes things despite a huge headstart, and is now looking like an also-ran in the market?

    What's next, should we feel sorry for Windows Mobile?

    I think a lot of people fail to understand exactly how innovative Apple really is, primarily because their own concept of innovation is limited.

  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @03:38AM (#30411890) Journal

    I'd agree, except for the fact that these patents are part of a standard which Nokia has agreed to license in a "Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory" fashion. They can't suddenly decide to charge Apple more because Apple competes with them. That is discriminatory.

    Apple is not saying that they shouldn't have to pay to use those patents. They are saying that they shouldn't have to pay more or give up valuable IP to use those patents since other companies don't have to pay as much or give up IP. Making Apple do that is discriminatory.

    There is no double standard. If Nokia had not agreed to license the patents in a "Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory" fashion, I'd agree with you. Of course, their patents probably would not have been used.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:21PM (#30415136)

    The bastards. How dare they take advantage of $10 billion and 15 years of research. If Apple wants to jump into the market they should get all that R+D for free!

  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @03:21AM (#30420950) Journal

    The Bastards! How dare they say that they will license in a "Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory" fashion and then turn around and charge their chief competitor more than anyone else?

    Suppose I release something GPL. Then I decide not to and, furthermore, sue all the people who downloaded and used it under the GPL. Obviously, that would be a breach of contract.

    So if Nokia agreed to be non-discriminatory, that means they can't charge Apple more than they would charge anyone else. That means they can't go after Apple's IP unless they go after everyone else's. Doing otherwise is "Discriminatory."

    Fun example: Microsoft creates the Open XML Document format and agrees to charge a "Reasonable or Non-discriminatory" amount for it's use. They then charge Linux projects more than anyone else to use it because Microsoft wants to hurt Linux Office projects.

    We'd be screaming bloody murder--and rightly so.

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