Apple Launches Nuclear Patent Counterstrike On Nokia

from the just-like-Thomas-Jefferson-envisioned dept

We’ve discussed in the past how many large companies now view patent accumulation as something of a nuclear stockpiling technique. That is, if you accumulate enough patents, other large companies won’t sue you for patent infringement, because you’ll just sue them right back for infringing on your patents. As ridiculous (and obviously against the basis of the very patent system) as this is, it has certainly limited some patent lawsuits between large tech companies. But every so often, a nuclear battle breaks out. Earlier this year, Nokia, jealous over the success of the iPhone, sued Apple. Apple, of course, has bragged about all those patents it holds on the iPhone… so… the obvious next step has occurred, and Apple is lobbing back charges of patent infringement against Nokia. In the end, the two sides will probably work out some sort of settlement, but the whole process is a huge waste of time and resources. Wouldn’t we all be better off if they just focused on competing in the marketplace by creating better products?

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Companies: apple, nokia

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Comments on “Apple Launches Nuclear Patent Counterstrike On Nokia”

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18 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Well, I was under the impression that Apple bought Infineon Chips, which had been properly licensed by Nokia. If Infineon didn’t have a license, then it’s a problem between Infineon and Nokia. As I believe, Apple iPhone Design was based on an Infineon spec, and would have built around it if Infineon would have disclosed that it didn’t have proper licensing.

Why didn’t Apple just choose the Qualcomm MSM chip family from the get go? It had all the licensing agreements in place. Heh. Random thoughts…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

To further describe:
I suppose I’m a little confused when Nokia tries to be the victim and apparently outsources it’s own chip fab to Qualcomm.

Regardless of the problems Infineon gave Apple, Nokia will need to pay Apple for infringement of their IP.

Perhaps they’ll both find a middle ground but only after they understand that iPhone exists because of an Infineon Spec, and because of Infineon’s inability to acquire proper licenses from Nokia, it may be in turn, more Infineon’s fault than Apple’s fault.

Perhaps Nokia should be asking Infineon for royalties… No?

Jamie (profile) says:

Re: Re: Competing in the marketplace?

“Nokia has lost in the court of technology. They didn’t see the smartphone coming, and are now way behind.”

What are you talking about? Nokia had smartphones on the market several years before Apple even thought about the iPhone. They all run Symbian, which still holds the highest market share of any smartphone OS.

The only thing you can credit Apple for is making smartphones consumer-friendly. They took what was largely existing technology and slapped a nice coat of paint on top of it. They then spent a fortune on marketing and making the device “cool”, and now it has a mass following.

Sure, the iPhone is a great device. It does what most people want, in a way that’s easy to learn. But from a technology standpoint it’s well behind the curve, and Apple’s policy on what apps they allow on the store is arbitrary at best. You’re pretty much locked in to doing what Apple want, in the way they want you to do it. I just can’t stand that.

Peter F says:

“Nokia, jealous over the success of the iPhone, sued Apple.”

Yea, it’s all high school to you isn’t it? Nokia gave patents to the standards bodies with the agreement that adopters would license them. Apple, too busy with illegal option backdating problems, choose to thumb their nose at the process that all other device manufacturers follow.

Apple, standing on the shoulders of giants and pretending they are just really tall. Absurd.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Patent fight between Nokia and Apple

EXCELLENT! You might add, this works only for the very wealthy, because it involves patents (for which there is often no invention!) written so obscurely that “experts” are required, leading to long, very expensive “defensive” lawsuits!

It is another example of “welfare for the wealthy”, and is the real reason the IP system doesn’t work.

It is also why I left mainstream patenting and now concentrate on small entity patenting (which does require there be an invention, and costs little to defend).

Gena777 (profile) says:

Preemptive nukes

This item is interesting because I’d heard from other sources that the real reason Nokia sued Apple is that Nokia was trying to preempt a potential lawsuit against them by Apple for patent infringement. If this is true, then I guess Nokia’s tactic backfired, because Apple is suing them anyway. Of course, the whole business may ultimately amount to no more than a lot of posturing on both sides, in preparation for a settlement agreement. Ah well, such is the world of patent law.

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