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Nokia's Patent Lawsuit Over Apple's iPhone

By Joel Zand on October 23, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Nokia filed a patent lawsuit against Apple yesterday over its wildly successful iPhone, alleging that Apple is somehow "attempting to get a 'free-ride' on the billions of dollars" in Nokia's telecommunication work.

But a quick read of the opening arguments alleged by Nokia may be a sign of nothing more than jealousy over Apple's continued worldwide iPhone marketing success, just as the device is expected to be released in China.

It reads more like a playground fight started by Nokia.  Here's why.

Instead of initially focusing on the merits of the case, Nokia is heavy on simply dissing Apple, boasting that it:

    • "is the world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones"
    • "is one of the champions of wireless communications"
    • "received numerous awards and accolades for its achievements"
    • "introduc[ed] the first car phone"
    • had "the world's first genuine GMS call"
    • made the "Nokia 9000 Communicator [in 1996]...the first all-in-one phone, fax, calendar, e-mail and Internet device in a hand portable size."
    • made "the first Push-to-Talk GSM handset"

Noka maintains that it tried to license technologies to Apple, but that the company "rejected Nokia offers for the [Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory ('F/RAND') terms and conditions."

Even if Apple paid it millions for allegedly 'past due' F/RAND patent licensing fees, Nokia claims that Apple would still enjoy the market share it otherwise would not have but for the period of "free riding."

Translation: Nokia acknowledges that Apple's iPhone sales have been, and continue to be spectacular, cutting into the Finnish company's smartphone and mobile handset sales.

 Read Nokia's new patent lawsuit over the Apple iPhone here:


How will the matter ultimately be resolved? According to All Things D's John Paczkowski:

The endgame here? Most likely an out-of-court settlement and cross-licensing agreements-assuming Apple's willing. After all, Nokia is on record admitting its fondness for Apple's technology.

Asked once about the striking similarities between a touchscreen device it was designing and Apple's iconic handset, Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's head of multimedia devices replied, "If there is something good in the world then we copy with pride."

Oh, yeah: the iPhone has already been selling in Finland for over a year.

A month before it hit Finnish streets in July 2008, one Helsinki blogger sighed that he "can't help but feel a little bit sorry for Nokia..."

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