Nokia Sues Apple for Patent Infringement on iPhone


Nokia is suing Apple for using mobile technology patents without consent, infringing ten patents in the process. The BBC has more:

Nokia said it had not been compensated for its technology, and accused Apple of “trying to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation”. The ten alleged patent infringements involve wireless data, speech coding, security, and encryption. Apple’s shares dipped after news of the action broke.

The breaches applied to all models of the iPhone since its launch on 2007, Nokia added. Finland’s Nokia said that it had agreements with about 40 firms – including most mobile phone handset makers – allowing them to use the firm’s technology, but that Apple had not signed an agreement.

“The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for,” said Ilkka Rahnasto, Vice President, Legal & Intellectual Property at Nokia. “Apple is also expected to follow this principle.”

He added that during the last two decades, Nokia had invested approximately 40bn euros (£36.2bn; $60bn) on research and development. Earlier this month, Nokia posted its first quarterly loss in a decade amid falling sales.

This sounds like a desperate move by Nokia to slow Apple or regain market share. What stopped them from suing earlier? (Update: They get more money if they stall. Thanks, commenters.)

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  • ThinkBeforeYouType

    Just cut and paste the news, your comments are benign.

    “This sounds like a desperate move by Nokia to slow Apple or regain market share.”
    – how could this possibly help regain market share?
    – they have not tried to get an injunction on iPhone production, it is purely about licensing of technology.

    “What stopped them from suing earlier?”
    – discussions to arrange license fees perhaps? (that every other major manufacturer pays willingly)
    – the chance of winning a court case and the amount awarded is greatly improved with the 2 year proof of commercial use of ‘their’ technology

  • The damn phone has been out for over 2 years. They are obviously not aggressively enforcing the rights violations they are alleging after so much time. Legally they might be within the time frame, but we all know that companies wait years so that settlements will be higher than ever.

  • Drea

    Thanks for your comments, guys. I consider myself a mite more educated on companies’ licensing strategy. TB4YT: My thought with the “regain market share” statement was as follows: If Nokia wins the patent suit, it would put a hiccup in the iPhone’s competitive pricing, due to new licensing fees. That increase would make the iPhone less competitive. The Financial Times goes into this in a little bit more detail:

  • ThinkBeforeYouType

    Consider yourself whatever you wish.

    If Nokia win it would amount to only $2-$12 per phone. Meaning a maximum settlement of $500m.

    The maximum settlement would not effect Apple too greatly.
    The increase in phone costs would not effect iPhone sales either. It’s a luxury item, that amount would not stop somebody who wants one.

    The only possible hidden ‘strategy’ is some kind of deal to get hold of multi-touch rights. However, that patent is un-tested and fairly easily circumnavigated. I doubt Nokia are even bothered by it, unless they know of something else in the pipeline.

    None of this could possibly “slow Apple or regain market share”.

    As they stated, Nokia want some cash from Apple.
    Out of court settlement is the most likely outcome.