Apple has made some rotten moves, according to the Finnish phone maker, Nokia. The company is in the midst of a legal patent infringement battle against Apple and has just added another claim.
Along with the 10 patents that Nokia has already claimed Apple is infringing, new documents indicate the recently launched iPad 3G infringes on five more.
The company filed additional claims May 5 in the U.S. District Court of Western Wisconsin, claiming Apple infringed on its speech and data patent, its design of application that uses positioning data patent, and three patents on antenna design.
The battle between the two phone makers began in October 2009, when Nokia filed a suit against Apple claiming the company had infringed on patents that cover wireless data, security, encryption and speech coding. All the patents were used in the creation of Apple's iPhone, iPhone3G and iPhone 3GS, according to Nokia.
Apple (AAPL) countersued Nokia (NOKA) in January saying Nokia's phones infringe on 13 of its patents. Nokia asked, in turn, for the court to dismiss the counter suit.
Protecting Its Assets
Nokia said it has negotiated license agreements with 40 other handset makers including the top mobile phone providers. It also attempted to form a licensing agreement with Apple, but the discussions did not progress to any agreement.
Apple's unauthorized use of Nokia's technology has caused the company financial harm and damaged its reputation as a business, according to the company's most recent filings with the court. Nokia further claims that the unauthorized use of its patents allow Apple "to charge less for its products because it does not have to recover the costs of development of the technology used in the device."
The iPhone maker also gains more market share that it would not have obtained if its products had to bear the costs for the patented technology, Nokia states. As a result, Nokia claims it lost its portion of the market share for the time the iPhones were used.
Apple holds the second largest share of the U.S. smartphone market with 25.1 percent, according to Comscore. Worldwide, Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones and had 16.6 percent of the smartphone sales in the fourth quarter, according to ABI Research.
Nokia is asking for a jury trial, undisclosed damages, and attorney and court fees.
Patent Battle Marches On
The legal sector will be busy in the next few years with patent lawsuits similar to Nokia's, analysts said.
"Expect the patent battles to grow for the overall industry as you continue to see players coming into the mobile [arena] from the PC and the Internet worlds," said Carolina Milanesi, vice president at research firm Gartner, in the Mobile Devices Technology and Service Provider Research group. "We were reminded again last week of the importance of patents when HP announced plans to acquire Palm and cited the 1,500 patents Palm has as one of the key assets."
The question many are still asking is: Why doesn't Apple just pay Nokia's licensing fees like everyone else? If Nokia has negotiated license agreements with 40 other phone and device makers, why couldn't Apple come to agreement with them?
Posted: 2010-05-10 @ 12:19pm PT
Apple must be confusing Nokia with Xerox, home to the ideas behind the Macintosh that Apple appropriated in the late 70's without paying for it.
Posted: 2010-05-10 @ 11:08am PT
...or maybe Apple's technology doesn't infringe at all. Only until you read the dependent claims in Nokia's patents and the technology actually used in Apple's products, can you make an intelligent assessment. Since none of us has either, the question is moot.
Posted: 2010-05-09 @ 8:27am PT
Maybe Apple thought it was just too big too mess with some silly thing like following patent law?