Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Nokia Adds to Apple Patent Spat in Europe

In the latest installment of “Which Cellphone Maker Is Suing a Rival Where?” Nokia on Thursday filed a bunch of patent actions in several European courts.

The move follows Apple’s suits against Nokia as well as Nokia’s earlier suits against Apple in U.S. court, and is part of a growing docket of cases that will have almost every cellphone maker as either plaintiff, defendant or both.

The latest actions were filed in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands, and allege that the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, among other products, infringe on Nokia’s technology.

“These actions add 13 further Nokia patents to the 24 already asserted against Apple in the US International Trade Commission and the Delaware and Wisconsin Federal courts,” Nokia VP of intellectual property Paul Melin said in a statement. “The Nokia inventions protected by these patents include several which enable compelling user experiences. For example, using a wiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content, or enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store, both filed more than ten years before the launch of the iPhone.”

The Nokia filings relate to a number of different areas, from antenna structures to app stores to noise suppression and displays.

An Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

At the moment, there is a lot of litigation around cellphone technology. To list just a few of the big cases, Apple is suing HTC, Oracle is suing Google, and Microsoft and Motorola are suing each other.

At a dinner last month, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith predicted that eventually there will be some sort of understanding of who is owed what in royalties for a modern smartphone. For now, though, it’s just a good time to be an intellectual property lawyer.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik