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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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  • CEO Battle (Score:5, Funny)

    by Khris (1010709) on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:43PM (#30407372)
    Let's just put the CEO from both companies into a ring and have them fight it out. Whoever wins gets everything including the black turtleneck!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wish they'd all grow up...

    • by BeardedChimp (1416531) on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:48PM (#30407418)
      You fight like a dairy farmer!
    • 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.

      • 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 node 3 (115640)

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

          No, I see the point very clearly. The fact is, we *ARE* cavemen. You're right that we shouldn't act like them (in general), but when someone takes that first caveman act against you, often your only response is to sink to their level. To remain "above the fray" and not revert to cavemanism yourself just lets them have their way with you, which is exceptionally stupid.

          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?

          This isn't about nurturing the caveman-prone corporate environment, it's about what you do *within* the caveman-prone corporate environment.

          Ag

          • by CityZen (464761)

            We are arguing different points.

            You are focusing on the specifics of this particular case. I have made no comments about whether Apple's actions are "good" or "bad," but rather that the whole situation is kind of ridiculous.

            I'm trying to see beyond this particular case and envision what set of conditions would allow for companies in general to focus on "progress" (whatever that means) instead of in-fighting.

            This particular case revolves around patents. These days, patents are kind of like weapons. Compan

          • by sopssa (1498795) *

            "Best defense is to attack" is not just non-sense.

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by oldhack (1037484)
          That was one truly disgusting post. Hell is too good for your lot.
        • I have three brothers and we were quite the reverse, having a home LAN we played coop through Doom, Doom2, Quake, Quake 2 and Duke Nukem 3D. It took us a while to figure out why there were no monsters in Multiplayer mode in Half Life.
        • by Waccoon (1186667)

          I was picked on a lot when I was a kid. My teachers told me to ignore it, and the other students would get bored and leave me alone. They didn't.

          One day I got fed up, grabbed one of the bullies by his shirt collar and threw him down the hallway. Boy, did I ever get in trouble, but it did have one major benefit: nobody picked on me again. Ever.

          Like it or not, we are cave men. Looking back, both the teachers and students taught me more about human nature than academic material.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rtfa-troll (1340807)
        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 be

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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.

          • This type of patent 'show' is common when these types of lawsuits happen. They basically give each company a good bargaining chip, [...]

            And with that I have little problem. However any presentation of either Apple or Nokia as innocent little flowers being picked on by a big bully I do have a problem with. They are both big corporations which know how to look after themselves. Apple has a history of copying other people's innovation (the Mouse & Windows based interface - from Xerox) and then accusing others of stealing it (Microsoft); Apple is also running around threatening everone in the phone industry with lawsuits. In this case I

        • 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!

          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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

            • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @06:11AM (#30412334) Journal

              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?

              Your memory is a bit fuzzy there. Microsoft won that suit because the license Sculley gave them, which was supposed to permit them to use Apple's IP for products that Microsoft shipped on the Mac was poorly worded, and didn't restrict them from using Apple's IP anywhere else.

              -jcr

            • by rochrist (844809) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:18PM (#30415708)

              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.

              Uh, no. Apple /purchased/ what they got from Xerox with stock. It's kind of time this urban myth died.

          • by JAlexoi (1085785)

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

            Since Apple did not invent the touchscreen, just patented some specific thing, those patents might not yet apply to existing Nokia phones with touchscreen.

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

            Nokia is in fact the "agressor" here, but not in any bad sense. Since they only filed the lawsuit after their talks broke down. (Imagine, you being called bad guy just because you filed a suite against your neighbour, because

        • by oldhack (1037484)
          League of Programming Freedom? Is that like FSF in Marvel comics universe?
  • 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...

    • Re:Just a small part (Score:5, Informative)

      by jpmorgan (517966) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:11PM (#30407658) Homepage

      Not really. Apple has only been in the cell phone business for a few years... Nokia is a granddaddy. If you look at the patents Apple is saying that Nokia is infringing, they're comparatively minor. Let's look at the patents...

      No. 5,555,369: Method of creating packages for a pointer-based computer system
      No. 6,239,795 B1: Pattern and color abstraction in a graphical user interface
      No. 5,315,703: Object-oriented notification framework system
      No. 6,189,034 B1: Method and apparatus for dynamic launching of a teleconferencing application upon receipt of a call
      No. 7,469,381, B2: List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display
      No. RE 39, 486 E: Extensible, replaceable network component system
      No. 5,455,854: Object-oriented telephony system
      No. 5, 379,431: Boot framework architecture for dynamic staged initial program load
      No. 5,634,074 : Serial I/O device identifies itself to a computer through a serial interface during power on reset then it is being configured by the computer
      No. 5,915,131 : Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O services
      No. 7,383,453 B2: Conserving power by reducing voltage supplied to an instruction-processing portion of a processor
      No. 5,848,105: GMSK signal processors for improved communications capacity and quality
      No. 6,343,263 B1 : Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data

      Mostly we're talking fluffy software patents. The last few are potentially meaty, but given how little time Apple has been in this business, and how recent these were filed and granted, they're probably pretty specific (although I don't have the time to pick through the actual claims). Worst case scenario for Nokia is probably, they pull their smartphones from the US market for 6 months while they work around them. And the US smartphone market is a minor part of Nokia's business.

      But Nokia... Nokia has patents on just about every wireless technology known to man. Worst case scenario for Apple is they can cancel the iPhone and put an ethernet jack in the next MacBook Air.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

      • I went through these patents earlier and I also thought the list was surprisingly weak.

        Only one of these patents seems to be an actual "iPhone patent".

        No. 7,469,381, B2: List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display

        I understood this one to be basically scrolling a document with your finger on touchscreen (instead of hand cursor and mouse). It was applied for in december 2007 so I would be surprised if it didn't also have prior art.

        Apple's rhetoric seems
  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by sznupi (719324)

      Nokia contributed greatly to the development of those standards. As I understand you expect they hand it over for everybody to use without, say, expectation of mutual recognition?

      • Well, the issue is "Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory."

        Let's say I make boring cellphones and I pay Nokia $0.25 for every cellphone that I sell. I really have nothing of value for Nokia except for money, so that's what they take. And that's fine.

        Now let's say I have a patent on a method of turning lead into gold and I use this to make golden cellphones. Now that patent is worth potentially more than $0.25 for every cellphone that I sell. So should Nokia be able to say, "Hey, cross-license that patent and

        • by sznupi (719324)

          That sounds fine at first glance, but remember that Apple is the one who eagerly states they are ready to fight for their patents.

          Si modifying a bit your scenario, the method of turning lead into gold is actually quite straightforward and obvious, with Nokia also arriving at it. But then the small company starts to bark; this Nokia sees as an entity not willing to "Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory" relations (remember any relations involves two entities, works both ways...)

          • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Friday December 11, 2009 @10:31PM (#30410090) Journal

            I would agree. But, again, the idea that Nokia can hold up the patents that Apple needs in order for Nokia to get the patents that they want is certainly not "Non-discriminatory."

            To go with my previous example, if Nokia says, "it's $0.25 per cellphone, but we'll cut it if you cross-license these patents," that's one thing. But to say "You must cross-license these patents" is something else.

            This gives Nokia an incredible advantage over Google, RIM, Microsoft, and anyone else who makes a cellphone operating system. Nokia makes a cellphone operating system but they also have patents which Google, RIM, and Microsoft—Nokia's competitors—must license in order to work with GSM networks. So you have to license technology from your competition if you want to work on GSM networks.

            Nokia is definitely taking advantage of the situation by trying to use these must have patents in cellular telephony in order to improve their own cellphone operating system which is used on the phones that they sell.

            That's definitely non-discriminatory.

            • And rightly so. They spent billions of dollars and years of research to garner those patents. Nobody was stopping Apple from investing heavily in cell networks in the early 90's. They just weren't interested in the market.

              Apple can just "pick a different cellular technology" if they don't want to license from Nokia. I don't see anyone demanding Apple allow third parties to make computers that run OSX... The response is "well you can run windows or linux instead". Well Apple can make a phone that ru
              • 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.

                • You keep saying that, but you're basing it on what? I've seen absolutely nothing that says Nokia is asking for anything of the sort.

                  Is there some factual documentation to back this up, or is it yet another "apple can do no wrong" assumption?
                  • I keep giving examples. From above:

                    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.

                    What part of this is confusing?

                    Suppose HTC gets charged $0.25 per cellphone. Why should Apple have to give up IP worth millions to use the same patents?

                • by JAlexoi (1085785)
                  Nokia probably did ask Apple to cross license patents, because it's a usual practice. They cross license and charge some amount. Apple clearly does not want to cross license and just wanted to pay the small fee that everyone else pays. While, everyone else adds a cross licensing deal with those payments.
                  Nokia's suit is all about setting the price and based on that requiring backpay based on that price. Now imagine how hard it will be to calculate the price, because most other licensing contracts had not on
    • by dissy (172727)

      It stated that in the lawsuit that nokia wanted a patent cross-license agreement with apple for the rights to the GSM patents.

      While I can't comment on the other patents yet, I find this one particularly crazy, since last I saw Apple does not manufacturer nor design nor sell GSM chips...

      It would be like you buying a car from the dealer, then get sued for violating someones patent because the car manufacturer did just that.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      Unreasonable, no. Discriminatory, possibly. If Nokia's patents are part of the specification, Apple should be allowed to license them under the same terms that others get.

      What it sounds like is Nokia is trying to parlay their GSM patents into a license to use Apple's touch screen technology or some other patented item used in the iPhone. This is a very reasonable request, but Apple should have every right to consider the two licenses separately rather than cross licensing.

      I can't tell whether that's what's

      • by JAlexoi (1085785)
        There is a high chance others actually have cross licensed as part of one single deal. Since Apple is, probably, the only company in the market that has no technological patents in the field. So getting to that reasonable and non-discriminatory will be quite hard.
    • by jpmorgan (517966)

      No. Nokia offers the patents to everyone under 'Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory' terms, since they're essential for implementation of several wireless technologies. Literally everybody else in the industry licenses them. But Apple doesn't want to pay.

  • 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.
    • And, for bonus points: A classic example of what is wrong with the U.S. patent system -- sort of.

    • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:58PM (#30407520)

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

      • by furball (2853)

        Here's a crazy idea: in-house lawyers.

        • by NoYob (1630681) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:13PM (#30407688)

          Here's a crazy idea: in-house lawyers.

          Do you know how hard it is to potty train a lawyer?! It's not like a dog or better a cat that makes a bee line for the litter box. Nooooooo!

          Lawyers need a big office if they don't have one, they'll shit all over everything. They need an expensive car or they'll pee over everything. And as for food! Oh God!

          Just gimme a cat.

          • Just be sure to have them spayed.
            • by Mikkeles (698461)

              Not so; Pasteur was not entirely correct. Lawyers spontaneously generate out of the muck. (That's why muck-rackers so frequently have lawyers around them.)

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by ColdWetDog (752185)

                Not so; Pasteur was not entirely correct. Lawyers spontaneously generate out of the muck.

                M. Pasteur was concerned about the origin of lifeforms. Not lawyers.

        • by swb (14022)

          Sure, the in-house guys "manage" all the litigation but don't do much besides draw a nice salary.

          They hire outside counsel to do the actual litigation and the other tedious BS.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        There will still be a winner in this case... the lawyers.

        Just like there's always a winner when someone has cancer... the doctors.
      • by cfriedt (1189527)
        so very true...
    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's a defensive patent. In case someone like another Creative sured them for multi-touch this or that. It's an unfortunate reality of doing business in tech.

        So far, I haven't seen Apple sue based on patents pre-emptively. I could be wrong though.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        For the bazillionth time... Apple didn't patent multi-touch. The patented certain multitouch gestures

    • Yes, this is very much standard practice in the industry.  That's why big tech companies file so many patents -- ammunition in case they need it.

      Unfortunately it doesn't work against patent trolls because they have no product to sell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ma8thew (861741)
      Not likely. The reason Nokia is suing Apple is that Apple refused to mutual licensing. Apple presumably wanted to pay the same licensing fee all other mobile manufacturers do, but Nokia wanted to swap their patents for Apple's.
      • Is there something out there that says Nokia cannot set whatever price they want for use of their patent?
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          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.
          • 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.

            I think we have a [citation needed] on that one. And whilst your digging out, remember that agreements to standards only apply to essential patents which the company agrees to contribute or fails to declare when actively aware of the patent during standardisation. You might also want to have a look at this [tdc.co.uk]

            IPR owners are only required to declare whether, or not, licenses are available, i.e. either by filing licensing declarations in respect of their Essential/potentially Essential IPRs, or declaring the non-availability of such IPRs;

      • by jipn4 (1367823)

        Are there any interesting patents Apple actually holds on phone technologies? Based on the list I saw earlier, there was nothing that was particularly interesting.

        Maybe Nokia wants licenses for the multitouch patents. I think Nokia, Google, and Microsoft should just get together and have Apple's multi-touch patents invalidated since there is prior art.

    • by toppavak (943659)
      Or a classic example of patents being used by Nokia to get cheap licensing to Apple IP
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jipn4 (1367823)

      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

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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 marke

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      That is the problem, Apple does not want to cross license.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @05:59PM (#30407536)

    Digital Daily has posted a list of the patents at issue here and the full text of Apple's counterclaims [allthingsd.com] -- which are pretty brutal. "Excerpt: In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone a ground-breaking device that allowed users access to the functionality of the already popular iPod on a revolutionary mobile phone and Internet device. The iPhone is a converged device that allows users to access and ever expanding set of software features to take and send pictures, play music, play games do research, serve as a GPS device and much more.The iPhone platform has caused a revolutionary change in the mobile phone category.

    In contrast, Nokia made a different business decision and remained focused on traditional mobile wireless handsets with conventional user interfaces. As a result, Nokia has rapidly lost share in the market for high-end mobile phones. Nokia has admitted that, as a result of the iPhone launch, “the market changed suddenly and [Nokia was] not fast enough changing with it.

    In response, Nokia chose to copy the iPhone, especially its enormously popular and patented design and user interface."

    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:14PM (#30407696) Journal
      Meh. ATD is historically very fanboyish on Apple.

      I don't trust that site for unbiased analysis of anything Apple, though to be fair -- at times his product reviews have been honest.
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Out of curiosity, exactly what Nokia device is Apple (or allthingsd.com) claiming to be a copy of the iPhone? Nokia has had touchscreen-based (though not multi-touch) devices, both with and without phone chips, since before the existence of the iPhone, and while most if not all such devices could play music, none of them (in my experience) could be said to have copied the iPhone's or iPod's user interface. Many of these devices have also had installable applications available, though again I don't know of a

    • Apple introduced the iPhone a ground-breaking device that allowed users access to the functionality of the already popular iPod on a revolutionary mobile phone and Internet device. [...] In contrast, Nokia made a different business decision and remained focused on traditional mobile wireless handsets with conventional user interfaces.

      Nokia had smartphones and touch screen devices long before the iPhone even existed. Much of the iPhone is basically derived from the Palm Treo, the Danger Hiptop, Symbian, and

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      This is the main stumbling point for Apple:

      The iPhone is a converged device...

      Meaning that iPhone is not a technological advance, but just "repackaging". That implies that they used someone else's technology. Nokia holds most of GSM patents, so Apple must have had to use some of them.
      On the other hand, Nokia never did hide the fact that they would copy good ideas. But not all ideas are patentable, while most technology is.

  • [grabs popcorn]

    • What would rock at this point is: MS getting into fight and suing BOTH of them :)

      Do you think I am joking? I expect anything from MS regarding mobile operating systems since it is only Windows Mobile not going anywhere.

      • by hitmark (640295)

        meh, microsoft would not get directly involved.

        now that SCO have crashed and burned, what proxies do they have left that can be deployed?

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:09PM (#30407628)

    And Apple sues Nokia for what? The process for creating black shiny things?

     

  • Has Apple essentially admitted that they are infringing on Nokia's patents by not stating exactly which patents they're counter-suing for?

    Maybe Apple thinks it can level out the playing field by saying 'we patented the ${x}', where ${x} can be any one of 'portable computing device', 'portable multimedia player', 'portable touch device', 'portable internet', 'portable camera', 'portable transistor', 'portable wheel', ... , etc.

    but we patented the portable media wheel ... see? ... [click-click-click-click]

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

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

    • I hope that somewhere in the appeals process, the judge rules that none of the software patents are valid. If Apple and Nokia just hurt each other, they will take it out on consumers -- every penny paid in royalties for an iPhone or a Nokia phone will be passed right on along to consumers, and there will be one more case of software patents being upheld available for future patent trolls.
      • What if Judge orders to remove lots of features from both Apple and Nokia devices? It will be a total mess, a comedy like newer devices having less features.

        These days, the devices get monthly firmware updates. "It is built into chip, we can't change." is not an excuse anymore. As both companies are playing with justice system, system can play with them in very evil way too.

      • "If Apple and Nokia just hurt each other, they will take it out on consumers"

        Yeah, but since I'm not a customer of either, and think they deserve to lose all their customers to other parties, I don't particularly mind that. Come to the light side, we have better cookies anyway.

  • Nokia has patented using Wifi on a cellphone. I'm sorry but the device is irrelevant. Unless Nokia invented WiFi, they have no business trying to patent some other person's work just because they implemented it on a new device. It is still a standard that was created by other people.

    Also, it is inconceivable that Nokia wants to collect a percentage of the handset prices when, except for the cellular radio and related software, the iPhone is basically an iPod Touch and you don't see them going after Apple

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