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Iphone Patents The Courts Apple

Apple Wins a Round In Patent Battle With Nokia 90

Posted by timothy
from the surely-sequels-will-follow dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple [Friday] won a battle in an ongoing legal war with Nokia over patents that touch on pretty much all of Apple's product line. Since 2009, Apple and Nokia have sued and countersued each other into oblivion. In one particular legal action from May 2010, Nokia filed suit against Apple with a complaint to the ITC (International Trade Commission) alleging that Apple's iPhone and iPad 3G infringe on 5 of Nokia's patents."
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Apple Wins a Round In Patent Battle With Nokia

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  • Sued into oblivion? (Score:5, Informative)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @02:25AM (#35620302)

    They may have been suing each other ad nauseum, but I assure you both Apple and Nokia still exist and are still considered rather relevant in their particular segments of the industry.

    • by pieterh (196118) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @02:45AM (#35620372) Homepage

      Nokia has suffered really badly from a split personality over the years, where its patent-driven business clashed with its open source business. The end result is that Nokia was unable to make use of open source in any real way, even though it had years to get it right. Consequence: Android easily beats Nokia. Now Apple is in a better position but it still has trouble making use of large chunks of the open source world, again because of conflicts with their patent-driven business.

      So it may well still end in oblivion. It really does come down to sheer ability to compete and move rapidly, and patents don't help this, they are essentially a 19th century anti-competition anti-trade device aimed at giving a firm 20 years in which to not have to compete. Not an excellent strategy in the 21st century.

      Any firm that has to resort to patent lawsuits is already dead.

      • The thing about patent lawsuits is that they result in licensing agreements. If you win the rights, the market turns into a win-win situation, either because even losing market share means you make money off the competitors' products, or because you can cross-license to get access to others' IP that YOU would have to pay royalties for on every device you sell.
        • by juasko (1720212)

          Yeah, but looking at it you thought Nokia would sue over telecom tech. But over integrated camera in phones n stuff, not the real deal where they actually could have a case.

          Common, for sure Apple would win such a case.

      • by Weezul (52464) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @05:27AM (#35620708)

        Apple is the bad guy using patents anti-compeditively in this case. Apple simply ignored Nokia's patents on real shit, but sues everyone over their unjust patents on user interfaces. Apple might have simply ignored Nokia while they pursued minor Android users, but Nokia had the grace to make Apple fight a big boy first.

        Imho, the best case scenario would be Apple's patents all being torn down, and serious review of Nokia's patents as well.

        An amusing scenario that'd showcase the stupidity of the patent system would be : Apple ends up unable to sell iPhone in Europe, while Nokia ends up unable to sell Windws Phone 7 phones in the U.S., i.e. your oblivion situation. Ain't likely though.

        Also, Maemo was a far better & way more open operating system than Android.

        • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @07:38AM (#35621028)

          Actually Nokia started this with Apple, not the other way around. From what I recall, Apple's countersuit against Nokia involved unreasonable licensing terms (Nokia wanted more from Apple than from others it had licensed the tech to including demands for generous cross licensing from the iPhone patent pool), and they also accused Nokia of pulling a Rambus (establishing a standard and then later coming in with submarine patents on their own designs).

          From TFA:

          In October 2009 Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement claiming that a number of Apple products used Nokia technology as it pertains to wireless connectivity and GSM networks. Never one to back down from a legal fight, Apple countersued and accused Nokia of infringing on 13 patents held by Apple.

          An interesting read regarding the back and forth between Nokia and Apple:
          [ref: http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/11/apple-countersues-nokia-for-infringing-13-patents/ [engadget.com] ]

          Apple also says Nokia wanted unreasonable license terms for the patents, including a cross-license for Apple's various iPhone device patents as part of any deal, which Apple clearly wasn't willing to do. That's in stark contrast to what Nokia says it wants in its lawsuit -- all it's asked the court for is past due license fees on its patents. (Which is odd, if you think about it: Nokia wouldn't come to terms on a license that didn't include iPhone patents, but it'll spend the cash on litigation for past due fees? That seems silly.) Oh, and if you're just in this for the bitchy quotes, here you go:

          As Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's executive Vice President and General Manager of Multimedia, stated at Nokia's GoPlay event in 2007 when asked about the similarities of Nokia's new offerings to the already released iPhone:"[i]f there is something good in the world, we copy with pride." True to this quote, Nokia has demonstrated its willingness to copy Apple's iPhone ideas as well as Apple's basic computing technologies, all while demanding Apple pay for access to Nokia's purported standards essential patent.

          Nokia wasn't interested in just getting fees for it's patents. They badly needed an 'in' into the smartphone market and they knew it. They also demanded the rights to cross license various iPhone patents as part of their lawsuit against Apple. They basically were shut out of the smartphone industry and Apple being the new guy on the block in the phone industry probably looked like their best chance at that.

          • by DMiax (915735)
            Yes, this is Apple's version. However it still remains to be explained why they went to market first instead of exposing Nokia immediately. That is if their story is true.
            • by DJRumpy (1345787)

              Probably because the iPhone had already been on the market for three tears before Nokia sued Apple? You have to admit it doesn't reflect well on Nokia to have delayed as long as they did and they still ended up losing the case in court. They waited until their market share took a huge nose dive.

        • by illtud (115152)

          Also, Maemo was a far better & way more open operating system than Android. [my emphasis]

          Hey, don't write Maemo off yet, have you seen the price of second-hand n900s? Not bad for a 16-month old phone. And new ones (what little stock some people may have) are barely cheaper than when they came out (in the UK at least). Carphone Warehouse (big UK mobile seller, all carriers + unlocked mobile-only) had some on their website this week at £350 (really cheap for new). I rang them to check some det

          • by Weezul (52464)

            I'll buy a MeeGo device that functions well as either a phone or an eink-like ebook reader. I'm not terribly interested in this whole netbooks without keyboards fad started by Apple. If I understand correctly, Nokia has stated their subsequent MeeGo devices will not be phones.

        • by juasko (1720212)

          Have you actually looked at the case at all?

          And who sued who first. You believe nokia sued Apple over telecom technology. But read what it was about.

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        I disagree. All companies build patent portfolios to strengthen their positions and for bargaining power. I don't consider someone a patent troll unless that's all they do is try to profit off of a patent with no actual product, which applies to neither of these two companies. Both still have a large product line that they actively sell. While most folks on here assume all patents are leveraged for trolling purposes, I think this kind of wrangling is common among any companies that are long in the tooth wit

    • On a similar note, you might find this link informative:
      http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/adnauseum.html [wsu.edu]

  • outcome (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @02:30AM (#35620320) Journal
    In case anyone was wondering was the actual victory was, since the summary doesn't mention, I forced myself to read the article to find out. The ITC (International Trade Commission) ruled that Apple has violated none of the five patents. The rest of the court must agree with the finding before it becomes final. The article describes the patents in question:

    The patents in question relate to technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices

    Yes, apparently Apple did not copy anyone else when they made their iPhone 4 antenna. And yes, there is a joke in there.

  • by kanweg (771128) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @02:40AM (#35620352)

    Usually it is pretty clear whether there is infringement or not. Of course, there are the odd-ball cases where it is possible to quarrel over meanings of terms in the main claim (and that's what is usually done in court but if the arguments aren't good you're not going to win). But to imagine that Nokia's attorneys made 5 out of 5 wrong judgement calls is, well, strange.

    Patent matters being handled in the US by non-specialized courts is not the best of things. If the ITC is equally competent then that is not the best of things too.

    The reasoning behind the ruling is not yet available, according to TFA.

    Bert

  • What a shock! Lemmies consult with my SCO buddies to decide the next approach.
    • by whisking (1181729)
      The Apple vs. Nokia patent battle began far earlier than Nokia chose the MS sockpuppet as its CEO, which then led to Nokia becoming MS subsidiary.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The Sith are always acting behind the scenes. Elop's rise at Nokia was merely the unveiling -- the Palpatine usurpation of the Emperor title.

  • by Reed Solomon (897367) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @03:12AM (#35620434) Homepage

    Apple clearly invented everything and Nokia didn't. Apple has existed since the 50's when they signed the Beetles then became a computer company in the 70's once John left the band. Nokia didn't start to exist until they invented Snake in the early 90's and coasted on that fame up until snake 2 and diminishing returns on their Snake based empire. I'm glad that lawyers exist to punish companies that aren't Apple for stealing from Apple.

    • Apple clearly invented everything and Nokia didn't. Apple has existed since the 50's when they signed the Beetles then became a computer company in the 70's once John left the band. Nokia didn't start to exist until they invented Snake in the early 90's and coasted on that fame up until snake 2 and diminishing returns on their Snake based empire. I'm glad that lawyers exist to punish companies that aren't Apple for stealing from Apple.

      For the few that care...

      It's spelled Beatles.
      The Beatles founded Apple Records, rather than that pre-existing label signing them.
      Get off my lawn.

      P.S. Snake rocks.

      • but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

        • but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

          That may be true; but I was disappointed you didn't mention the imminent release of Snake Forever, which is expected to reassert Nokia's claim as the innovative master of true snakiness in a world currently filled with barely snake-like posers.

        • by Gruturo (141223)

          but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

          Or it will be in about 5 minutes, hold on...

        • but everything else I said was 100% wikipedia accurate.

          Other than being more than a century wrong on when Nokia came into being (founded in 1865).

      • by tcr (39109)

        They founded Apple Corps...

        The only reason it's apple-anything is because of the lame pun. Apple Corps... Apple core. Geddit? Must have been funny in the Sixties, or something.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I understand you were joking but at least you could try to get the facts right.
      Nokia was a paper mill stablished in 1865 and was named Nokia Ab in 1871.
      Check the full story here: http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia/company/story-of-nokia

  • I support any decision that gives me more choice in what products I can use. Now all they have to do is invalidate Apple's claims against Nokia.
    • by Wovel (964431)

      Which they would have never made if Nokia had just been reasonable and in fact treated Apple like every other mobile manufacturer on the planet. The fact that Nokia can no longer make a "free" phone that sells as many units as Apples "$200" phone, probably upset them.

      • But now, according to this judge, Apple is not infringing, so there's nothing for the Apple to license, and thus nothing for Nokia to demand as payment!
        And here we were thinking it was obvious Apple was using technology covered by Nokia's patents, it was just a question of fair licensing fees...
  • by Shihar (153932) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @04:29AM (#35620576)

    If you want to know why smart phones are $600+ a pop, crap like this is why. The patent arsenals these companies amass are there to destroy competition and nothing else. It isn't like Apple or Nokia would stop innovating if suddenly they didn't have patent protection. What it would mean is that 600 Silicon Valley startups could also jump into the cell phone game and drive the price into the dirt and innovation through the roof.

    Smart phones are red hot. Everyone and their dog should be making these things using Chinese foundries. The fact that you need to be a multi-billion dollar company that can buy up patents and create your own arsenal (as Apple did) to touch the market means that patent law has effectively made this something only massive companies can do... not because of any great competitive advantage, but just due to government created legal blocks. Hell, even the companies currently in the game right now couldn't be in if they were not all cross licensing this crap, effectively making sure that no nasty upstarts can jump in offer up competition.

    I'm happy Apple didn't lose, but the problem remains. Anyone without a few billion to their name an arsenal of patents is prevented from even putting a toe in the market. What a horrible waste.

    • Smart phones are red hot.

      True, my iPhone 3GS got so hot that Apple replaced it for free even though it was out of warranty.

    • by frnic (98517)

      You got your mod points and didn't have to do anything except bitch. How about proposing a solution?

      • by Shihar (153932)

        Sure. Go to a system based upon trade secrets. Our current system is set up so that the first person to a tech, even if it is the obvious next step, gets to have a monopoly on it. To make matters worse, they don't even need to develop the tech, just get a rough outline and then they can declare a monopoly. In a system based upon trade secrets (which we already have laws in place for), the basic idea is that you can merrily reverse engineer all you want, or if the solution is obvious simply go out and do

        • by juasko (1720212)

          That is not a patent problem that is the problem of a free market, which is the opposite of free competition.

          Start govern the markets for free competition and your problem is gone.

    • by Graymalkin (13732)

      Research at companies would dry up if they couldn't get some sort of protection for the stuff they come up with. If patent protections were abolished tomorrow you're correct in that hundreds of startups would start making knock-off phones (and whatever else). The problem isn't tomorrow's startups but the drying up of research the following day. Shareholders aren't going to allow millions or billions of dollars to be invested in R&D if a startup is just going to come in and undercut them using all of the

      • by juasko (1720212)

        That point is made from the views in a patent ruled world. But it does not hold water. They will invent where they see a need to do so. True inventing will be less attractive, and go the same route as "open source" instead, which though is less efficient, lacks initial quality but has quantity which in time will catch up.

    • If you want to know why smart phones are $600+ a pop, crap like this is why. The patent arsenals these companies amass are there to destroy competition and nothing else.

      Not the root cause for $600 smartphones. Really, it's to pay all those lawyers to defend and prosecute those patents. I hate lawyers, until I love them.

    • by juasko (1720212)

      You can, if you have the means and brains, all necessary technology is out there open to be licensed. So just start.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      If you want to know why smart phones are $600+ a pop, crap like this is why. The patent arsenals these companies amass are there to destroy competition and nothing else. It isn't like Apple or Nokia would stop innovating if suddenly they didn't have patent protection. What it would mean is that 600 Silicon Valley startups could also jump into the cell phone game and drive the price into the dirt and innovation through the roof.

      You can buy phone modules from various companies (like Sierra Wireless) that are

  • Nokia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @04:32AM (#35620584)

    Since Nokia has been turned into a puppet company for Microsoft does anybody really give a shit?

    • I'm starting to wonder if anything actually comes out of this partnership or is one of them going to bail.
      • Re:Nokia (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @05:13AM (#35620680)

        Considering how many people Nokia has already managed to alienate with this move (employees, business partners & customers) it's probably their only chance to survive. And for Microsoft it's cheaper than to buy smaller companies and use those to build a distribution arm for their phone products.

        • Re:Nokia (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Znork (31774) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @08:00AM (#35621096)

          Still, with the amount of prestige that the board and executive have invested in this decision, I suspect they'd rather let the company burn than back out of the partnership. It's an interesting demonstration of just how badly a company can be run; backed in to a corner, chose the absolutely worst option conceivable and make sure there are no alternative strategies.

          Unless some stockholders manage to get the board fired, I expect Nokia will collapse and get taken private.

          • by lennier1 (264730)

            That's what I said. By now they no longer really have an alternative to bending over whenever Microsoft feels like it.

  • There is NO way Apple has the patents to make a phone from scratch. If this judge has an iPhone, how likely is he to rule in Nokia's favour, even if Nokia's patent claims are correct? Who has more marketing support?

    It's a popularity contest. Even a "professional" like a laywer or a judge is a layperson as far as computers are concerned. It's like trying to tell people Facebook is bad.

    • by tibman (623933)

      Because it's possible you could invent something and then not be able to use it because someone else invented something similar and patented it. I agree that it is unlikely Apple could make a phone from scratch. However i really don't know what apple has licensed to use legitimately to make their phone. It's possible they have a license to patents that cover similar ground as Nokia's patents. But that also sounds very unlikely. I'm currently lacking the imagination to come up with a reasonable explanat

    • by DJRumpy (1345787)

      You do realize that Apple licensed any number of patents from I would imagine a large list of companies for the basic phone bits? You make it sound as if they just threw some tech in a box and sold it without a care. That just doesn't happen. Apple also built quite a list of their own patents related to smart phone technology in the iPhone.

      This lawsuit was specific to 5 areas that Nokia felt Apple didn't properly license. Turns out Nokia was wrong according to the courts. Nokia also had no entries in the sm

    • by tyrione (134248)

      There is NO way Apple has the patents to make a phone from scratch. If this judge has an iPhone, how likely is he to rule in Nokia's favour, even if Nokia's patent claims are correct? Who has more marketing support?

      It's a popularity contest. Even a "professional" like a laywer or a judge is a layperson as far as computers are concerned. It's like trying to tell people Facebook is bad.

      Apple has accumulated > 3,000 patents of which 90% are related to iOS and iPhone/iPad/iPod hardware. You're not being very bright making lame ass comments. Apple was designing the idea for the iPhone [phone technologies] at around 1999, in-house. I guess you had to have been there.

    • They didn't make a phone from scratch. They bought their iphone GSM radio from Infineon, and Infineon licensed the patents from Nokia (and others). So Apple already did pay Nokia for the phone portions. As for "small handheld device," remember Apple invented the Newton, so they have a lot of patents in that area. Also, maybe you are the type of person who would not rule against Apple if you are an iPhone owner, but I sure would. Be careful not to project your views on everyone else.

      (PS. If you haven't alr
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      They didn;t make one from scratch - there are lots of cross licenced patents going on inside - the GSM hardware is an off-the-shelf part, for example, as used by several other manufacturers. Same with things like memory chips and LCD screens etc.

      Regarding your sig, have you checked out Peter F Hamilton? I'd start with Pandora's Star /Judas Unchained a 2 novel series set in his Commonwealth universe. Alternatively, you could try Neal Asher and his Polity universe (start with Gridlinked [book 1 in the Agent C

    • by juasko (1720212)

      Pls read up what the patents where about first.

      A usual nokia type would think it was telecom tech, but no.

  • by frup (998325) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @06:40AM (#35620894)

    Now that Nokia has given up on QT, Symbian and Linux and adopted Windows Mobile, fuck them to hell. May they die and may they destroy apple along the way. FOSS is the only way.

    • by HiThere (15173)

      Apple *IS* being destroyed. Steve Jobs has serious health problems. And we know what happened to Apple the last time he left.

      • by juasko (1720212)

        I really hope the same wont happen again, but then most managers are not visionaries but money hungry, never have interests in the company real faith.

        So what you say is bound to happen, lets just hope that it wont happen immediately when jobs is gone.

  • Apple vs Nokia ended in "Nokia did not infringe Apple's patents", too. Why is it not mentioned? http://www.osnews.com/story/23987/ITC_Staff_Sides_with_Nokia_in_Apple_Complaint [osnews.com]

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