An international patent dispute has broken out between Apple and Nokia over the Finnish mobile network vendor’s licensing terms for the widely used H.264 video codec and other technologies (like related to displays, user interface, software, antennae, chip sets).
Nokia on Wednesday filed lawsuits against Apple in Germany and in the U.S., alleging that the smartphone giant has infringed 32 of its patents filed in three German cities and a district court in Texas.
Nokia announced on Thursday it is suing Apple in German and US courts for patent infringement, claiming the US tech giant was using Nokia technology in “many” products without paying for it.
Finnish Nokia, once the world’s top mobile phone maker, said the two companies had signed a licensing agreement in 2011, and since then “Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products.”
“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,” Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Nokia’s patent business, said in a statement.
The dispute is rooted in Nokia’s demise as the world’s largest phone maker. Since selling its handset business, the company has focused on networking. It’s now tapping its patent portfolio as a source of income, rather than as a cross-licensing tool to protect its own products.
Nokia’s intellectual property business added patents through its Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, making it a more significant profit contributor. In the third quarter, Nokia’s technology unit, which licenses its patents, generated about 40 percent of the company’s total adjusted operating profit.
- “Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s own inventions they had nothing to do with,” Apple said in an e-mailed statement. “We are standing up for inventors everywhere by fighting this flagrant anti-competitive practice.”
- Nokia and its Alcatel-Lucent USA unit filed two lawsuits on Wednesday against Apple in federal court in Marshall, Texas, claiming patent violations related to products including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, Mac computers and digital media players such as Apple TV.
- In the first complaint, Nokia said Apple “steadfastly refused” to license its patents for video coding at established industry rates. Apple continues to use those inventions, which allow for higher quality transmission over cellular networks with lower bandwidth requirements, for its streaming services, according to the complaint. In that case, Nokia seeks damages for the alleged infringement of eight patents by Apple.
The Texas cases are Nokia Technologies Oyj v. Apple Inc., 16-cv-01440 and 16-cv-01441, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall). The California case is Apple Inc. v. Acacia Research Corp., 16-cv-07266, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).
For now, this dispute will be take time to get resolve as Nokia is planning to file more lawsuits in other jurisdictions, as stated by the company in a press release. Till then this blame game will be continued. From here after seeing these arguments in my point of view, what I feel is, either the result would be in favor of Nokia or both the companies may resolve their issues by agreeing for settlement.
Now we can just wait and make our own perceptions, till there is some result or decision made by the authorities, for this massive dispute.