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Nokia: Apple Infringes 'Virtually All' of Our Patents

Gordon Kelly


Nokia: Apple Infringes 'Virtually All' of Our Patents

Yes Apple, those Finns play mean...

This week Nokia confirmed it has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that "Apple infringes Nokia patents in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers." Boom!

Seven patents are key to the filing with Nokia saying they are now being used by Apple to create key features in its products' user interfaces, camera tech, antennas and power management settings.

"Nokia has been the leading developer of many key technologies in small electronic devices," said Nokia Patent Licensing General Manager Paul Melin. "This action is about protecting the results of such pioneering development. While our litigation in Delaware is about Apple's attempt to free-ride on the back of Nokia investment in wireless standards, the ITC case filed today is about Apple's practice of building its business on Nokia's proprietary innovation."

We can only imagine Apple will puff out its chest at all this and dismiss or even countersue Nokia. That said, Apple was late into the mobile phone market and that certainly can't be said of Nokia (even if it is lagging behind at present).

Will considerable cash soon be changing hands? Between Nokia, Apple and their legal teams, yes - between each other? We'll have to wait and see...


Nokia Official Statement


December 30, 2009, 10:58 am

Apple will let it go on so long and then try to settle out of court, legally if they are breaking Nokias patents they are up shit creek and thats that?


December 30, 2009, 2:43 pm

I see that Nokia are entering the SCO phase of their company history: replace product development with whining, then sue everyone, lose, become irrelevant.


December 30, 2009, 3:59 pm

If you can't beat Apple with decent products, distract them with law suits!


December 30, 2009, 4:52 pm

If they own the patent they own the patent. When did defending your property equate to being a whine?


December 30, 2009, 5:40 pm


It's not whining - they are protecting what's legally theirs - nothing wrong with that.


December 30, 2009, 6:51 pm

anyone has any patents for netbooks?

Luan Bach

December 30, 2009, 7:11 pm


There isn't a parallel with the SCO case. Nokia already has licensing agreements with other companies for their patents and supposely has been in negotiation with Apple for years. Since Apple refused to come to terms I guess the courts is a the next step in the negotiation process.


December 30, 2009, 7:14 pm


Don't be childish, why don't you go back to the playground if you want to bring immaturity to the discussion. Jeez, what does Apple do to these people!


December 30, 2009, 7:20 pm

It is whining. They feel threatened because of the iPhones success and have now decided to file this lawsuit. Why now? Surely if there was any substance to their claims this would have happened years ago. Basically Nokia just produce an endless array of phones to keep people upgrading - no innovation required. What Apple have done is enter the market with a genuinely new product and the masses have responded by making it the most popular smartphone available.


December 30, 2009, 7:32 pm

Have to love Apple's business practives. Lock out Plam from letting the Pre work with iTunes and then use Nokia's IP without licensing it. Swap out Apple for MS and there'd be uproar.


December 30, 2009, 7:51 pm

"Swap out Apple for MS and there'd be uproar."

Well said! It's funny to look at all these fanboys whining about Nokia, if it were MS there'd be high fives all around.


December 30, 2009, 7:52 pm

Think: Xerox.



December 30, 2009, 8:21 pm

This one reminds me of the Apple vs. Creative about the scroll wheell tech a few years back. I would imagine apple will pay out on this in some way - what they are banking on is that payout being miniscule in comparison to the revenues they are getting from infringing - and infringing they are. They seem to play quite a clever game where they use patents like they are a little start up no-one will notice, but then get out of it with high-end legal clout when it gets litigious. It's a dirty way to play, but you've got to admire it in a way.

Suppose it also helps that there are are fanboys like at least 1/3 of the posters above who seem to think that seeking financial compensation when another company steals your tech and makes money out of is "whining". You want to use it? License it like everyone else. Apple certainly enforce this from their end with prop headphones/approved idocs etc.


December 30, 2009, 8:31 pm

@Philbot: I doubt that someone at Nokia woke up today and said lets sue Apple, cases take time, no one wants to go to court because of the fees even if you win not to mention the time and i guess possible stock changes so there would have been discussions first. Not to mention all the paper work and evidence that needs to be collated. ALong with talking to their own lawyers to make sure they are correct to go ahead, etc etc. Not to mention Luan Bach not two posts before said, and I quote "...supposely has been in negotiation with Apple for years" now I dont have the time or inclination to check the validity but if you find it is inaccurate please post a link.

Also Nokia target the phone industry not a niche so of course they will release lots of phones and unlike the iPhone they are not necessary upgrades because you were an early adopter and talked yourself into buying a gimped product.

@rav: couldnt agree more. Are MS so bad now? Or does everyone just harbour hate from the 90's still.


December 30, 2009, 10:39 pm

Everyone seems to be assuming that Apple are guilty, this may simply be a ploy by Nokia to gain access to Apple's tech, rather than genuine infringement. I'd like to see more detail before I judge either way.

That said patents are far too easy to get these days, so someone almost always infringes someone else's patent, even if they knew nothing about it. Its a poor system that holds back progress and innovation.


December 30, 2009, 11:11 pm

I wish people would think before they write tripe about Nokia suing Apple because they currently have the top high end smartphone. Nokia raised this with Apple two years ago so that's just nonsense.

Fanboys of any stripe need to get out more or at least do a bit more research, preferrably not just on fan sites that are equally ignorant.


December 31, 2009, 12:26 am

Calm down people.

This is business. Nokia has claims. A lot of companies have those. In todays world it's impossible to check if you're infringing on some patents. Yet few seem to regard this as a flaw of the system. I work at a very small electronics company and we've been sued three times. All three were completely without merit, but you know them trolls.

Anyway, Nokia calls Apple and says "You're infringing on patent 1234." - Apple's Legal Department looked at it. Apparently it's not crystal clear, they probably didn't outright copy something, otherwise they would have paid.

So Legal shrug their shoulders. Instead of paying a couple hundred million right away, Apple decided to take this to court. Not that expensive, they have a Legal Department anyways. At the very least, they get an early opinion by the judge after a couple of weeks who will tell them, how he sees things.

What Nokia is doing is typical PR. Like a boxer assuring us he will win in his next fight.


December 31, 2009, 1:25 am


>That said patents are far too easy to get these days

Oh dear, and your post was going so well... Patents are not easy to get, they require a lot of paperwork, the creation of a novel, inventive, and useful step, oh, and usually the services of a patent attorney to work together with the examiner to figure out what is and isn't allowed.

>Its (sic) a poor system that holds back progress and innovation

It's like Winston said about democracy - it's the worst system apart from all the other which have been tried. Creators have to have the right to profit from their creation - or what's the point in invention and innovation?


>In todays (sic) world it's impossible to check if you're infringing on some patents.

No it's not! They publish them and everything! Patents are, by law, freely available once they've been granted. OK, you might not be able to check a patent if it's "in the system" and waiting to be granted - but if you've got an invention which hasn't been patented you need to patent it - if you release your product without patenting it, you won't ever get a patent for it - it's in the public domain.


December 31, 2009, 7:52 am

So when Apple does it, it's divine justice, and 9000% justified, but when others do it to Apple, the beacon of morals and innovation (SURELY they won't copy! It's IMPOSSIBLE!!!), it's whining, and being a pain in the posterior, road block on the road of innovation, etc?

Gods, I *love* humanity - Our future is *bright*.



December 31, 2009, 4:19 pm




December 31, 2009, 5:55 pm


What I meant was, that there is such a plethora of patents out there - just try the Google patent search - that you will ALWAYS find a couple that look like they COULD be relating to your work. You can rarely be sure though. Now you could a) licence every single patent which might be applicable or b) not invent stuff anymore. Both have the same outcome for you. Or you could c) go ahead and see what happens.

BTW, I don't like the Apple Fanboys either, but becoming Apple Bashers is no solution. As I said, it's no sin for Apple to let it go to court and let a judge decide if the accusations hold true.

It's not as if Nokia has never been sued for copyright infringement...


December 31, 2009, 6:06 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Apple already countersuing Nokia? - Claiming that they have also infringed on Apple patents with some of their recent smart-phones.

The whole mess, from what I understand, started a few years back when Nokia and Apple failed to thrash out a licence agreement because Apple claimed Nokia's demands were unfair in comparison with similar agreements Nokia had with other companies. To be honest though, this does seem like an act of desperation on Nokia's part to slow down the Apple juggernaut. Nokia are losing out in the most important growth sector of the mobile phone market and as yet have shown very little capability of being able to fight back.

kdot - "Are MS so bad now? Or does everyone just harbour hate from the 90's still."

Your kidding right? - MS have been sued twice in the last few months alone for patent infringement and were recently forced to close down a website when it was revealed the 3rd party MS had hired to create the site had stolen code.

The reality is all fanboys need to get their heads out of their backsides and realise this kind of behaviour is typical of most big companies, none of them are as pure as the driven snow, even if Google and Apple try to pretend otherwise, but MS still remain the undisputed masters of 'lets rip off of everyone else's ideas;' I shouldn't think anyone at MS has had an original thought in years.


December 31, 2009, 6:08 pm

@Rickyslo - Hi, would you do something here to prove either my, or your, point. Search this site and find just *one* individual, single comment, that suggests that the commenter in question believes that Apple never copies.

What you've done here is post one of those wonderfully sarcastic comments that is actually utter bullshit. No rational person thinks anything of the sort, but because you say it sarcastically, you believe it paints all fans of Apple kit as utter idiots and the company itself as fraudulent, uninnovative, and whiny.

The idea that "Apple never copies" is one of the many funny little diatribes created by those with blind hatred for the company. Apple didn't invent the idea of widgets and the dashboard. They didn't create Coverflow. They didn't start the MP3 business and they, and I want to emphasise this one in particular because nobody, *nobody*, believes it (although, you no doubt, believe, that we all believe it), Apple did not invent the idea of Cut'n'Paste on a mobile phone...

Regarding the story, if Apple are infringing, they should pay. Just as Nokia should be paying for the patents that they're infringing upon, if indeed they are. If Nokia are just after money though, then I'm sure Apple's crack team of patent lawyers will screw them in court.

Happy New Year, y'all.


December 31, 2009, 8:29 pm

Miracles of miracles. Arch Machead Cub taking a somewhat neutral stance in regards to of all things Apple? Although Cub you almost spoilt it with your penultimate paragraph. Nonetheless you should be commended and hopefully your recovery should just be around the corner.


December 31, 2009, 9:58 pm

arn't apple counter sueing nokia on grounds that some of their devices are similar to the apple iPhone, funny how they arn't sueing HTC, LG, sony, ect. for the same reasons,

it sounds to me that apple are just stalling for time and draging it out cause they are in the wrong, cause if you think about it if you were going to make a mobile phone in all the research you do for it you would think that in order to comply with the GSM standards you would have come across the patents, by talking to the GMS standards board if only by chance.

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