Apple hit with wide-ranging lawsuits from Nokia over iPhones, iPads, iPods, computers, watches

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia on Dec. 21 launched patent-infringement lawsuits against Apple, claiming the Cupertino firm is illegally using Nokia technology in iPhones, iPads and other popular devices.

“Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products,” Nokia’s head of patent business Ilkka Rahnasto said in a statement. “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.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In both lawsuits against Apple in Eastern Texas U.S. District Court, Nokia is seeking jury trials.

“Apple infringes Nokia’s Asserted Patents through the manufacture and sale of at least its iPhone and iPad products,” one of the suits claimed. “Nokia’s patented inventions enable Apple to sell smaller, more efficient, more capable, and more appealing products.”

The other suit, which relates to video coding, covers a wider range of Apple goods. “Apple’s products … including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, Mac computer products, and Apple digital media players such as Apple TV, infringe Nokia’s patents asserted in this case,” the complaint said.

Nokia alleged in a statement that Apple had agreed in 2011 to a licensing deal allowing it to use certain Nokia patents, but has “declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products.”

The lawsuits are part of a campaign by Nokia that also includes legal action against Apple in three German courts over the Finnish firm’s patents.

Collectively, the court actions by Nokia cover 32 patents relating to technologies such as display, user interface, software, antennae, chipsets and video coding, Nokia said in a statement.

Nokia is seeking unspecified damages, “at least for reasonable royalties, unjust enrichment, and benefits received by Apple as a result of using misappropriated technology,” both U.S. lawsuits said.

Nokia’s lawsuits follow legal action the previous day by Apple, Reuters reported.

“Apple on Tuesday had taken legal action against Acacia Research Corp and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc, accusing them of colluding with Nokia to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly from Apple,” Reuters reported. “The legal action by Nokia and Apple appear to mark a revival of the ‘smartphone patent wars’ that began five years ago, when Apple filed a series of patent infringement cases against Samsung Electronics around the world, with wins and losses on both sides.”

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 7 at the product launch held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on Sept. 7, 2016. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)


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