John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Nokia’s New Focus Is Mobile Services? Sure It’s Not Lawsuits Against Apple?

nokia_ApplethumbNokia might not be able mount a reasonable challenge to Apple in the smartphone market, but it can certainly mount one in court. The company escalated its legal battle with the iPhone maker this morning, lodging a fourth patent-infringement complaint against it.

Filed in Federal District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin, the suit alleges that Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and iPad 3G infringe on five Nokia (NOK) patents related to enhanced speech and data transmission, the use of positioning data in applications, and innovations in antenna configurations.

“Nokia has been the leading developer of many key technologies in mobile devices,” said Paul Melin, general manager, Patent Licensing at Nokia. “We have taken this step to protect the results of our pioneering development and to put an end to continued unlawful use of Nokia’s innovation.”

Nokia first sued Apple in October 2009, claiming the iPhone violated 10 of its patents covering various wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption technologies.

Then, in December, Nokia filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that Apple infringes its patents “in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players and computers.”

Shortly thereafter, the company sued Apple in U.S. District Court in Delaware, making similar allegations.

Apple declined comment, but counterclaims Apple filed against Nokia last December offer a bit of insight into what its thinking on the matter might be.

In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone a ground-breaking device that allowed users access to the functionality of the already popular iPod on a revolutionary mobile phone and Internet device. The iPhone is a converged device that allows users to access and ever expanding set of software features to take and send pictures, play music, play games do research, serve as a GPS device and much more….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….

As Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s executive Vice President and General Manager of Multimedia, stated at Nokia’s GoPlay event in 2007 when 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.” True to this quote, Nokia has demonstrated its willingness to copy Apple’s iPhone ideas as well as Apple’s basic computing technologies, all while demanding Apple pay for access to Nokia’s purported standards essential patent. Apple seeks redress for this behavior.

Five dollars and a dusty old Nokia 1100 says this thing settles out of court.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work