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Apple Countersues Nokia, Claims 13 Patent Infringements

“Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours,” said Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president.

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Back in October, Nokia filed suit claiming that Apple had violated 10 of its patents, including ones for devices that connect wirelessly to LANs or 3G networks and stream data, or coded speech over them–basically, the iPhone. Nokia’s VP for Legal and IP, Ilkka Rahnasto, alleged that Apple was getting “a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”

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Today Apple’s fired back, legal guns a-blazing. “Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours,” said Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president (who joined the company this past September, about a month after Nokia filed suit).

The countersuit filed this morning alleges that Nokia is infringing 13 Apple patents, but no other details were given (the full press announcement is below, followed by Nokia’s from October). We’ll update you here as soon as we know more.

Earlier this week, Nokia announced that it was closing its glitzy flagship stores in London, New York, and Chicago. Apple, meanwhile, just keeps opening new ones–there are 280 stores in ten countries so far.

 

Apple Countersues Nokia

CUPERTINO, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Responding to a lawsuit brought against the company by Nokia, Apple® today filed a countersuit claiming that Nokia is infringing 13 Apple patents.

“Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours,” said Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

 

Nokia sues Apple in Delaware District Court for infringement of Nokia GSM, UMTS and WLAN patents

October 22, 2009

Espoo, Finland – Nokia
announced that it has today filed a complaint against Apple with the
Federal District Court in Delaware, alleging that Apple’s iPhone
infringes Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN (WLAN) standards.
 
As
a leading innovator in wireless communications, Nokia has created one
of the strongest and broadest patent portfolios in the industry,
investing more than EUR 40 billion in R&D during the last two
decades. Much of this intellectual property, including the patents in
suit, has been declared essential to industry standards.  Nokia has
already successfully entered into license agreements including these
patents with approximately 40 companies, including virtually all the
leading mobile device vendors, allowing the industry to benefit from
Nokia’s innovation.
 
The
ten patents in suit relate to technologies fundamental to making
devices which are compatible with one or more of the GSM, UMTS (3G
WCDMA) and wireless LAN standards. The patents cover wireless data,
speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed by all Apple
iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.
 
“The
basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who
contribute in technology development to establish standards create
intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for,” said
Ilkka Rahnasto, Vice President, Legal & Intellectual Property at
Nokia. “Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to
agree appropriate terms for Nokia’s intellectual property, Apple is
attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”
 
During
the last two decades, Nokia has invested approximately EUR 40 billion
in research and development and built one of the wireless industry’s
strongest and broadest IPR portfolios, with over 10,000 patent
families. Nokia is a world leader in the development of GSM
technologies and its evolution to UMTS / 3G WCDMA as well as wireless
LAN, which is also demonstrated by Nokia’s strong patent position in
these technologies.

About the author

I'm the executive editor of Fast Company and Co.Design.

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