Nokia recently filed a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly infringing on patents with its iPhone lineup, but the mobile phone maker could potentially face a counter suit claiming it is infringing on Apple's patents, too, according to Reuters.
"I would not be surprised to see a counter-claim from Apple citing patents it owns that it believes Nokia is infringing," commented CSS Insight Research Director Ben Wood. "This type of tit-for-tat approach has occured in previous patent battles as each player tries to improve its negotiating position."
Nokia claimed that Apple is using patented technology it owns related to wireless data transfer, security, speech coding, and encryption. Analysts estimate Nokia is asking for damages somewhere in the range of US$200,000 and $1 billion.
The two companies could be tangled in a legal battle that lasts years, and depending on the tactics they use, might end up in European courts, too. Should either company take their case to the U.S. International Trade Commission, the court proceedings could stall for years while the organization evaluates the patents.
Assuming Apple sues Nokia over possible patent infringements, there's a possibility the two cases could be merged together.
Despite both companies plans to vigorously defend themselves, analysts tend to agree that an out of court settlement makes the most sense.
"Nokia wants to be careful it doesn't kill the goose with the golden egg while Apple does not want to tarnish its premium brand by being continuously sued by other companies for using their technologies without payment," said Steven Nathasingh, managing director of the research company Vaxa.