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December 22, 2016

Nokia and Apple escalate patent fight

Five years after settling a lawsuit, the tech giants sue each other over patents.

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple and Nokia have again locked horns over patents, reviving a legal battle that appeared to have been settled five years ago.

The Finnish firm has filed several lawsuits against the US tech giant alleging it violated 32 patents.

The lawsuits were filed in the Regional Courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich in Germany and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The suits cover patents for display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding. Nokia is planning to file more lawsuits in other jurisdictions.

Nokia said that since agreeing to a license covering some of its patents in 2011, Apple has declined its subsequent offers to license other of its patented inventions which are used by several of iPhone maker’s products.

Nokia patent business head Ilkka Rahnasto said the company created or contributed to several of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products, by investing in research and development.

Rahnasto said: “After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights.”

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Nokia HQIn a suit Apple filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the company alleged that Nokia excluded some patents from that deal and transferred them to third-party companies.

Apple is taking legal action against Acacia Research and Conversant Intellectual Property Management, accusing of working with Nokia to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly from Apple.

The iPhone maker said that after the 2011 cross-license deal, the Finnish firm launched secret plans to monetise patents that were not included in the agreement.

Nokia has been alleged of transforming itself out of desperation, due to its own failure as a supplier of cell phones.

Apple said in the complaint, “It changed from a company focused on supplying cell phones and other consumer products to a company bent on exploiting the patents that remain from its years as a successful cell phone supplier.”

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