Nokia today sued Apple for allegedly infringing on a number of patents relating to technologies that made devices compatible with wireless LAN standards. Nokia claims that Apple’s iPhone has been infringing on their patents since it was first released in 2007. Interestingly, when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone, he made a point of saying that they patented the hell out of the device, so we’ll be watching closely to see just where this case takes us.
One final thought – Nokia’s lawsuit may, in the end, do more harm than good even if Nokia has a solid case. We’ve seen before, such as when Apple sued Microsoft, that tech lawsuits have the ability to prevent a company from advancing forward 100%. If Nokia thinks that this lawsuit is some sort of answer to their financial woes, then they’re in for a big surprise.
You can check out Nokia’s press release on the matter after the break.
Nokia sues Apple in Delaware District Court for infringement of Nokia GSM, UMTS and WLAN patents
October 22, 2009
Espoo, Finland – Nokia announced that it has today filed a complaint against Apple with the Federal District Court in Delaware, alleging that Apple’s iPhone infringes Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN (WLAN) standards.As a leading innovator in wireless communications, Nokia has created one of the strongest and broadest patent portfolios in the industry, investing more than EUR 40 billion in R&D during the last two decades. Much of this intellectual property, including the patents in suit, has been declared essential to industry standards. Nokia has already successfully entered into license agreements including these patents with approximately 40 companies, including virtually all the leading mobile device vendors, allowing the industry to benefit from Nokia’s innovation.The ten patents in suit relate to technologies fundamental to making devices which are compatible with one or more of the GSM, UMTS (3G WCDMA) and wireless LAN standards. The patents cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed by all Apple iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.“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. By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia’s intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”During the last two decades, Nokia has invested approximately EUR 40 billion in research and development and built one of the wireless industry’s strongest and broadest IPR portfolios, with over 10,000 patent families. Nokia is a world leader in the development of GSM technologies and its evolution to UMTS / 3G WCDMA as well as wireless LAN, which is also demonstrated by Nokia’s strong patent position in these technologies.