Apple countersues Nokia over iPhone patents

Nokia filed suit against Apple on October 22, 2009 claiming that every iPhone shipped since 2007 infringes on 10 Nokia patents. Nokia, the worldwide mobile phone market leader, claims that Apple violated its patents on wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption.

Today Apple answered the suit. With a countersuit.

In a brief yet succinct press release Apple stated that it has filed a countersuit claiming that Nokia is infringing on 13 of its patents. Apple’s complaint seeks the dismissal of Nokia’s complaint in its entirety, with prejudice, damages for Nokia’s alleged infringements, interest and legal fees, according to Digital Daily. Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president is quoted:

Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours.

Ouch.

Apple’s makes some pretty bold claims in its countersuit:

…The iPhone platform has caused a revolutionary change in the mobile phone category.

In contrast, Nokia made a different business decision and remained focused on traditional mobile wireless handsets with conventional user interfaces. As a result, Nokia has rapidly lost share in the market for high-end mobile phones. Nokia has admitted that, as a result of the iPhone launch, “the market changed suddenly and [Nokia was] not fast enough changing with it.

In response, Nokia chose to copy the iPhone, especially its enormously popular and patented design and user interface….

Apple even dredged up a pretty damning quote from Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s executive Vice President and General Manager of Multimedia, from a Nokia event in 2007 where he was asked about the similarities of Nokia’s new offerings to the already released iPhone:

[i]f there is something good in the world, we copy with pride.

Double ouch.

The Finnish mobile phone giant hasn’t yet responded to Apple’s countersuit. Pull up a lawn chair and watch the fireworks fly. This one’s going to be a doozy.

Digital Daily has a list of the disputed patents and the full text of Apple’s counterclaim.

Will Apple and Nokia allow this to go to court or will they come to a licensing agreement?

News courtesy of ZDNet.com



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