Apple-Nokia Patent Fight Escalates, Apple Files Antitrust Complaint

by: - Last updated on: December 22nd, 2016

Nokia has announced that it has filed a series of complaints against Apple for allegedly infringing on Nokia patents. The prima facie reveals that Apple is not ready to pay Nokia licensing fees and as a result of which the Cupertino company has responded to the allegations by filing an antitrust lawsuit. The antitrust laws aim at regulating the conduct and organization of business corporations and also promotes fair competition.

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Apple in its filing has accused Nokia of conspiring with other companies of charging Apple in a bid to extort exorbitant revenues unfairly and anti-competitively. Apple then goes on and points out how Nokia failed to “innovate” and was forced to exit the market as a cellphone supplier in 2011 and post this Nokia has changed “from a company focused on supplying cell phones and other consumer products to a company bent on exploiting the patients that remain from its years as a successful cell phone supplier.”

“The dispute is rooted in Nokia’s demise as the world’s largest phone maker. Since selling its handset business, the company has focused on networking. It’s now tapping its patent portfolio as a source of income, rather than as a cross-licensing tool to protect its own products”- Says Apple’s antitrust filing.

On the contrary, Nokia had earlier accused Apple of not establishing a licensing deal for Nokia technology which is currently been used in Apple products. This is what Nokia had to say “Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products.” Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Nokia’s patent business further issued a statement stating, “After several years of negotiations trying to reach an agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights.”

This is not the first time Apple and Nokia have been battling tooth and nail when it comes to patents. It was in the year 2011 that both the companies called for a truce by settling a two-year battle over patent royalties for mobile phones. Apple has now once again knocked the doors of court and is accusing a set of companies which are hand in glove with Nokia “as part of a plan to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly and anti-competitively from Apple and other innovative suppliers of cell phone and ultimately from the consumers of those products.”

In essence, Nokia has two complaints against Apple, in the first one, it accuses Apple of using inventions which facilitate higher quality transmission over cellular networks with lower bandwidth requirement for its streaming services. In this particular case, Nokia is seeking damages from alleged infringement of eight patents.

In second complaint Nokia accuses Apple of infringing 10 patents, most of which are related to transmitting and amplifying radio signals. Furthermore, Nokia has accused Apple of violating a patent with regards to translating natural language inquiries into data inquires and guess what, Apple’s SIRI forms a part of this violation.

Patent wars have been going around for quite some times and it is indeed true that some of the companies thrive on building Industrial property for privateering. Ironically, this has also been the business cornerstone for some of the organizations. On the hitherto Apple has always been fighting to keep the royalties low and just last week one of the companies that Apple says is in cahoots with Nokia, Core Wireless Licensing Sarl won a 47.3 million jury verdict in San Jose. It would be interesting to see the already escalated patent battle and in all likelihood, it may set some standards for the licensing of standard-essential patents. For more details, you can access the entire filing from here.

Source: Bloomberg

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