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Apple and Nokia in Patent Battle

Middle East : 22 February 2010

Washington: Apple Incorporated, manufacturer of the iPhone, charged Nokia in court documents of attempting to monopolise the market in wireless technology.

Apple said in a federal court filing Friday in Wilmington, that Nokia intentionally withheld information on its patent holdings while assisting to set up an industry standard and then demanded “unreasonable” royalties. The claim is portion of a broader counterattack to patent-violation claims made by Nokia.

The legal battle between the two started in October, when the world’s biggest manufacturer of mobile phones, Nokia filed a lawsuit blaming Apple of violating 10 patents and demanding back royalties on millions of iPhones sold since the device’s launch in 2007.

Each company has since then blamed the other of violating an increasing number of patents.

Some of the violations, including counterclaims of patent infringement, were disclosed in December in Apple’s preliminary response to Nokia’s suit.

The filing adds fuel to the fire that Nokia deceived five different groups establishing industry standards to make sure its patented inventions were contained in the standards for Wi-Fi and wireless transmissions, amongst other technologies.

The world’s biggest mobile-phone, Nokia, is based in Finland. In the rapidly growing market for smartphones, it has lost market share to Apple and Research In Motion Limited, manufacturer of the BlackBerry.

Apple said in its filing that having suffered losses in the market, Nokia has opted to demanding very high royalties from Apple for patents that Nokia claims are necessary to various compatibility standards.

Nokia is also attempting to compel Apple to license its proprietary iPhone technology, the Cupertino, California-based computer company said in the filing.

Apple said in the filing that it doesn’t desire to cross-license any technology that would enable Nokia to attempt to develop products with characteristics now unique to the iPhone.

The companies also have filed complaints with the US International Trade Commission in Washington, seeking to obstruct imports of the other company’s smartphones, which are assembled abroad.

Nokia argues that at least some of its patents cover discoveries that are necessary to comply with the different industry standards. Apple’s stand is that, if the patents are necessary, then Nokia is contractually bound to license them on non-discriminatory, reasonable and fair terms.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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