Apple Asks ITC to Block Nokia Imports

Apple and Nokia don't seem to be getting any closer to a resolution in their patent infringement battle, especially now that Apple has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission requesting a block on Nokia mobile phone imports.

Nokia filed its own ITC complaint against Apple in October 2009 alleging the iPhone uses patent protected technology without authorization or proper licensing. That complaint led to a series of lawsuits from both companies.

Both companies are claiming that the other is using protected technologies without permission, and in Nokia's case, there has been speculation that it is using the threat of litigation in an attempt to pressure Apple into a cross-licensing deal.

Nokia representatives have been fairly vocal in their displeasure with Apple. "Companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for," commented Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia's Vice President of Legal & Intellectual Property. "Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation."

ITC investigations typically take well over a year to complete, but should the agency rule in favor of either company's complaint, it could lead to hefty fines and potentially a block to iPhone or Nokia cell phone imports into the United States.

[Thanks to Bloomberg for the heads up.]