Apple Countersues Nokia, Accuses Company of Theft

Apple announced Friday a countersuit against Nokia that accuses the company of violating 13 Apple patents. In a statement, Apple went further and accused the company of theft.

Bruce Sewell, General Counsel and senior vice president for Apple, said in a statement, "Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours."

In its announcement, Apple didn't specify which 13 patents it felt were violated, but analysts and pundits have been speculating since Nokia first sued Apple that the latter would want to sue Nokia for violating multitouch gesture-related patents.

The ruckus between the two companies began in October of 2009 when Nokia sued Apple for infringing upon 10 of its own patents covering UMTS, GSM, and WLAN (WiFi).

"Companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for," Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia's Vice President of Legal & Intellectual Property, said at that time. "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."

Analysts such as Maynard Um of UBS said at that time that Nokia's suit was likely a preemptive strike against Apple, as Nokia was concerned about Apple's multitouch gesture patents. Niokia has introduced smartphones in response to the iPhone with similar interfaces, and Apple has secured many patents covering the way mutltitouch gestures work on a touchscreen interface.