Apple Packs on the Lawyers in Nokia Battle

| News

Apple has been bringing on more lawyers in preparation for its patent infringement battle with Nokia, according to BusinessWeek. Apparently the iPhone and iPad maker has been recruiting attorneys with experience in fighting for and against companies such as Microsoft, Intel and Broadcom.

Apple and Nokia have been locked in a battle over alleged patent infringement issues for several months. Nokia filed its own ITC complaint in 2009, along with patent infringement lawsuits in 2009 and at the beginning of the 2010 over claims that the majority of Apple’s products, including the MacBook lineup and the iPhone, violate wireless tech-related patents it owns.

Apple fired off its own lawsuit against Nokia at the end of 2009 alleging Nokia is violating 13 patents it owns. At the time of the filing, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president, Bruce Sewell, commented “Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours.”

The move to strengthen its legal team is likely an indication that Apple plans to aggressively defend its iPhone-related patent portfolio against Nokia as well as other companies such as HTC and Motorola.

A hearing with the U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled for November 29 where Nokia plans to detail how Apple is infringing on its patents.



The patent law on technology needs to be revisited seriously.  Apple and other companies, enter such vague patents on technology, that if anything remotely similar is distributed by another company, they claim patent infringement.  It is just a way to force users to use a certain company’s technology.  Sound familar Apple?  How the past repeats itself.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ultimately, what we’re going to see here is either they settle or the judgement is rounding error on the value of market share. If either side wins big (i.e > $1B total net damages), it will put enormous pressure on Congress to reform the patent system. Neither of these patent portfolios are so important for government to protect to that level of value.

I would like to see a system where an applicant requests a threshold return value from the patent office. The patent holder would account for royalties paid for use of the patent, and when the threshold is reached, the monopoly granted by the patent is over. Higher threshold requests would require longer for applicants to get approved and put them at risk of gaining no protection or having longer examination periods in which competitors could shoot holes through the applications. Currently, these open-ended monopolies are far too inexpensive to obtain, resulting in too much belligerence, the costs of which are ultimately born by taxpayers and consumers.


That sounds reasonable, Bosco. Of course, both sides (all three sides…four? I’ve lost track) in these patent disputes would probably argue against your idea. But, to little old meaningless me it sounds good. Balance of innovation and reward for such.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account