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Iphone Patents The Courts Apple

Apple Wins a Round In Patent Battle With Nokia 90

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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  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2011 @03:59AM (#35620530)

    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 improfane ( 855034 ) * on Saturday March 26, 2011 @05:13AM (#35620682) Journal

    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.

  • It's about royalties (Score:1, Interesting)

    by spheric_harlot ( 2004896 ) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @05:14AM (#35620684)
    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 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.

  • 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.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"