John Paczkowski

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Apple Countersues Nokia for Copying iPhone (Plus Disputed Patents and Full Text of Counterclaim)

stevenokiaOn Oct. 22, Nokia filed suit against Apple, accusing the company of hitching a “free-ride” on its intellectual property. This morning, Apple filed a searing countersuit accusing Nokia of the same thing.

In counterclaims filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware, Apple (AAPL) denies infringement and asserts that Nokia (NOK) attempted to copy the iPhone and infringed 13 Apple patents in the process. Apple’s complaint specifically cites Nokia models S60, E71 and 5310. The company seeks dismissal of Nokia’s complaint in its entirety, with prejudice, damages for Nokia’s alleged infringements, interest and legal fees.

“Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours,” Bruce Sewell, Apple’s general counsel and senior vice president, said in a statement.

Youch. Mess with the bull, you get the horns, as this excerpt from Apple’s counterclaim makes clear:

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.

Among the patents Apple accuses Nokia of infringing:

  • No. 5,634,074 : Serial I/O device identifies itself to a computer through a serial interface during power on reset then it is being configured by the computer
  • No. 6,343,263 B1 : Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data
  • No. 5,915,131 : Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O services
  • No. 5,555,369: Method of creating packages for a pointer-based computer system
  • No. 6,239,795 B1: Pattern and color abstraction in a graphical user interface
  • No. 5,315,703: Object-oriented notification framework system
  • No. 6,189,034 B1: Method and apparatus for dynamic launching of a teleconferencing application upon receipt of a call
  • No. 7,469,381, B2: List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display
  • No. RE 39, 486 E: Extensible, replaceable network component system
  • No. 5,455,854: Object-oriented telephony system
  • No. 7,383,453 B2: Conserving power by reducing voltage supplied to an instruction-processing portion of a processor
  • No. 5,848,105: GMSK signal processors for improved communications capacity and quality
  • No. 5, 379,431: Boot framework architecture for dynamic staged initial program load

The full text of Apple’s counterclaim against Nokia:


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