Whack-A-Motion: Nokia Sues Apple, AGAIN
In the latest round of an increasingly comic legal war, Nokia has yet again sued Apple
for allegedly infringing on its patents, this time objecting to technology used in the iPad. The Finnish smartphone giant has already sued Apple twice, and also complained to US federal regulators. Apple, for its part, sued Nokia back and filed its own complaint, but is currently under investigation to determine if it is in fact using Nokia technology without a license.
According to a company spokesperson
, the latest lawsuit is about completely different Nokia patents than those referred to in the company's previous legal assaults. The Nokia technology in dispute here involves methods for improved voice and data transmission that are used in both the iPhone and the iPad. A Statement coming out of company headquarters in Espoo, Finland said that the patented inventions involve "positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices."
Most observers see the protracted conflict as an effort by Nokia to get Apple to agree to licensing fees, similar to what many other mobile phone makers already pay. Nokia had complained back in October that "Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation," by using wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption inventions that Nokia claims are its own. Apple in response said that Nokia was making unwarranted claims in order to gain information about Apple's intellectual property. Nokia then filed its motion with the International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming all
of Apple's products violate its patents, and investigators are now looking into these allegations.
Interestingly, Nokia filed this latest suit not in Delaware as it had before, but in the rural midwestern state of Wisconsin. According to reports out today, this court is quicker at bringing patent cases to trial than courts in Delaware - home to many US corporations - or in California where Apple's headquarters is located.