Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phone maker, said on Tuesday it had filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission alleging that Apple has infringed Nokia patents in "virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers." Nokia had sued Apple in October, and earlier this month Apple countersued.
In its complaint before the ITC, Nokia claims that Apple has illegally taken advantage of technology that the Finnish phone manufacturer developed. The allegation is that Apple infringed seven separate Nokia patents in implementing iPhone, iPod and Mac camera, antenna and power management functionality, as well as elements of the user interface. "These patented technologies are important to Nokia's success as they allow better user experience, lower manufacturing costs, smaller size and longer battery life for Nokia products," the company said in a statement.
Paul Melin, Nokia's general manager of patent licensing, drew a distinction between this action and Nokia's earlier lawsuit, filed at the US District Court in Delaware.
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. [...] Nokia has been the leading developer of many key technologies in small electronic devices. This action is about protecting the results of such pioneering development.
Industry experts note that this legal back-and-forth in a fairly common tactic when licensing negotiations have broken down, and believe that Nokia is playing hardball to get royalty payments from Apple in the $6 to $12 US range for each iPhone sold.