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Apple Beefs Up Legal Team, Adds In House for Nokia Suit

By Jason Beahm on December 01, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When the going gets tough, the tough call in intellectual property rights specialists. Or something like that...

Apple is calling for legal backup in its intellectual property dispute with Nokia.

The computer and technology company has hired a team of patent attorneys as well as an  in house counsel. Apple's general counsel, Bruce Sewell, was hired after working for 15 years at Intel. As for outside counsel, Apple's legal team is being advised by William Lee, who won the Broadcom lawsuit against Qualcomm.

Apple alleges that Nokia products violate Apple's patent rights. Apple wants imports of the allegedly infringing Nokia products banned from import. The Apple and Nokia suit will be heard by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The case began in October 2009 after Apple was initially sued by Nokia. Nokia alleged that Apple infringed upon 10 of its patents with the iPhone. Apple countersued, arguing that Nokia was the offending party. Apple alleged that Nokia was infringing on 13 of its patents, PCMag reports.

The specifics of the suit involve Nokia devices that use identical or similar features as the Apple iPhone, Touch and iPad. Specifically, their patented touch screen functionality.

The stakes are huge.

If Nokia wins, Apple could conceivably lose the right to sell the iPhone anywhere in the U.S. If Apple wins, Nokia could find itself shut out of the U.S. smartphone market. Although it is also possible that the losing party could strike a licensing deal with the prevailing party.

Regardless of the winner, more legal disputes are on the way. Apple also has upcoming cases with Motorola and HTC.

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