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Iphone Cellphones Patents The Courts Apple

Nokia Claims Apple Does "Legal Alchemy" To Mask IP Theft 294

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-than-illegal-alchemy dept.
CWmike writes "Nokia asked a federal judge last week to toss out Apple's antitrust claims, saying the iPhone maker indulged in 'legal alchemy' when it tried to divert attention from its infringement of Nokia's intellectual property. The filing was the latest salvo in a battle that began in October 2009 when handset maker Nokia sued Apple, saying the iPhone infringed on 10 of its patents, and that Apple was trying 'to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation.' Apple countered in December with a lawsuit of its own that not only claimed Nokia infringed 13 of its patents, but that Nokia also violated antitrust law by legally attacking Apple after it declined to pay what it called 'exorbitant royalties' and refused to give Nokia access to iPhone patents. 'These non-patent counterclaims are designed to divert attention away from free-riding off of Nokia's intellectual property, a practice Apple evidently believes should only be of paramount concern when it is the alleged victim,' Nokia charged in the motion. Apple is on a legal roll, having also recently sued the maker of Google's Nexus One, HTC, for patent infringement."
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Nokia Claims Apple Does "Legal Alchemy" To Mask IP Theft

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 15, 2010 @03:53PM (#31486610)

    Hopefully the Bilski decision will come out and invalidate software patents. Then these companies can get back to competing on innovation.

    Note that the patents Nokia are using against Apple are not Software patents, but real technology patents. The fact that Apple has nothing but software patents to respond with is a signal about how fragile Apple in fact is, with no real "valuable" intellectual property.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 15, 2010 @04:32PM (#31487228)

    Digital Daily's posted Nokia's Motion to Dismiss in its entirety: http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20100315/nokia-appl-follo/

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Monday March 15, 2010 @04:42PM (#31487408)

    They want to pay the *fair* rate - which Nokia is obliged to give them. They are claiming that Nokia is attempting to charge them more (in terms of cash and cross licenced patents) than they are allowed to charge.

    They want to pay what other people pay. Nokia is not allowed to charge more to whoever it chooses.

  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Monday March 15, 2010 @04:44PM (#31487436) Homepage Journal

    RAND terms only applied IF you developed and contributed to the standard.

    RAND terms SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED everyone who came along afterwards and wanted to use / licence GSM.

    Apple DID NOT help develop GSM.

    Apple REFUSED to accept non-RAND GSM licencing terms.

    These are the facts. These are ALL the facts.

  • by prockcore (543967) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:09PM (#31487794)

    Except that Apple doesn't hold any multitouch patents. They *license* them from Synaptics

  • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Too Much Noise (755847) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:12PM (#31487846) Journal

    You keep posting these 'facts' about cross-licensing. You're basically wrong. RTF Filing. From Statement of facts, p 4-5

    In late 2007, Apple and Nokia began negotiating a potential license agreement for Nokia's patents essential to the ETSI standards (id. 86). Apple admits that, at the start of the negotiations, and again in September 2009, Nokia offered license terms to Nokia's essential patents that did not require Apple to grant any license back to Apple's non-essential patents (id. 86, 91).3 Apple acknowledges its rejection of Nokia's "standard" license terms (id. 85, 91, 92). Apple's unhappiness about these offers seems only to be that Nokia was asking for what Apple considered too much money for Nokia's essential patents (see id. 91).

    Apple also admits that "Nokia defined both a portfolio rate and an average per patent royalty rate" that did not require any
    license-back of non-essential patents
    (id. Answer to 44). Once again, Apple's only problem with these offers is the amount of money involved (id. 91).

    Again, according to Nokia's filing, there was an offer to cross-license, but it was Apple that first made it.

    Apple further admits that it was willing to grant Nokia a cross-license to certain Apple patents that are not claimed to be essential to any of the standards listed above (id. 87). Apple avers that, in Spring 2008, Nokia made another license offer, proposing Apple expand its prior offer to give Nokia the right to pick a limited number of Apple non-essential patents that would be licensed (id. 89). Apple states that it rejected the proposal (id.).

    But hey, don't let facts get in the way of righteous anger.

  • by diamondsw (685967) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:14PM (#31487860)

    RAND terms only applied IF you developed and contributed to the standard.

    Um, wrong much?

    From everyone's favorite source [wikipedia.org]:
    "companies agree that if they receive any patents on technologies which become essential to the standard then they agree to allow other groups attempting to implement the standard to use those patents and they agree that the charges for those patents shall be reasonable"

    There is absolutely nothing involved in being part of the standards body to receive RAND terms. If you're part of the standards body you have to extend RAND terms.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:26PM (#31488078)

    By RAND terms - in exchange for the GSM patents being included in the standard for cellular communication, Nokia agreed to licence them under RAND terms. Otherwise, they would not have been included in the standard: it's a way to ensure that there is still profit in allowing others to use your work, and enable a standard (which is handy for a large radio communication network)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_and_Non_Discriminatory_Licensing [wikipedia.org]

    Read the wiki page - it even uses the GSM patents themselves as an example. Bonus.

    It has nothing to do with licensing copies of Windows, which are not covered by RAND conditions.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:34PM (#31488198)

    This is what I suspect it is about. Nokia wants particular patents, and is claiming that they are worth the price of the GSM patents, Apple presumably is disagreeing and claiming they are worth more.

    I'm just guessing, but it's going to be something like this.

    I doubt that most of the deals to use the GSM patents from other phone manufacturers are pure cash payments to Nokia - it's always going to be about trading patents.

  • by greenbird (859670) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:41PM (#31488292)

    Apple hasn't and can't patent an idea. They have a specific implementation implemented

    All software patents are patenting an idea. If it was an implementation what would be patented is the source code which is already covered by copyright. Show me one software patent that isn't patenting an idea but an actual implementation. If the patent was on the implementation rather than the idea I should be able to implement it in another language and not be liable under the patent.

  • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:42PM (#31488304)

    Incorrect. Apple CLAIMS that Nokia has demanded unfair rates.

    Since the only thing I've seen amounts to 1-2% royalties(and thats from the apple camp) and Nokias patents covers the vast majority of the tech thats actually used to make the the iPhone a, you know, phone, I don't think its too outrageous, do you?

    From what I can gather the truth to the story is that Nokia, going about business as usual, decided to up their royalty rates by .5%(approximately). Certainly this decision could have been hurried because Apple was about to enter negotiations, but thats also business as usual for any company. Once it was in place with Apple they likely were going to institute it in their other agreements elsewhere once those agreements expired. Where the big problem seems to come in is the actual dollar figure of $6-$12 per every iPhone.

    To make a long story short, for the most part, it seems to me that Apple is getting nailed by their own Apple tax and they're not fans of the feeling.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Monday March 15, 2010 @06:22PM (#31488782)

    For the GSM patents, yes - they are a special case. In exchange for being accepted as part of the standard, Nokia agreed to put them under RAND conditions.

    It's a good way to recoup costs of R&D, since the patent becomes a standard, and companies pay equally and fairly for the use of it, fostering compatibility between different systems.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_and_Non_Discriminatory_Licensing [wikipedia.org]

  • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @01:38AM (#31492210)

    Where's the trolling in my post?

    Your post may not be trolling but it is definitely incorrect.

    RAND only covers specific patents, Apple is trying to use RAND to get access to Nokia's entire patent portfolio including those covered by RAND. RAND exists to prevent one patent holder from prohibiting entry into the market by refusing to license patents relating to the GSM standards, this does not cover all of Nokia's patents.

    Apple is only being asked to pay what other manufactures are paying, it is just that Apple has not got a large enough or valuable enough patent portfolio to make cross licensing an attractive or even fair deal for Nokia. Apple is not the only manufacturer that has been asked to pay cash to use Nokia's patents, they are just the only one who thinks they don't have to.

    I guess there's someone with a serious axe to grind against Apple with mod points. Shame.

    However your reply is a troll, you were incorrect and that does not constitute an anti-Apple conspiracy.

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