Nokia Granted Partial ITC Review in Apple Patent Complaint

Nokia was granted a partial review of a decision handed down by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in favor of Apple in March of 2011. At that time, Apple won a decision from the ITC that the iPhone did not violate five patents owned by Nokia, and the ITC has agreed to review two of those patents, while letting the decision on the other three patents stand.

Apple vs. Nokia

In a notice posted by the ITC on Thursday, the commission said it would focus on what some specific terms in the two patents mean, listing three questions in particular it would (re)consider:

  1. Does the claim term “multiple acoustic cavities each having an acoustic volume” recited in asserted claim 1 of the ’181 patent require each “acoustic cavity” to possess any particular acoustic property?
  2. Assuming that the ’181 patent does not require each “acoustic cavity” to possess any particular acoustic properties, does Marqvardsen (International Publication No. WO 00/38475) anticipate asserted claim 1? See ID at 117.
  3. Do the accused products satisfy the “Integrated Mobile Terminal Processor” limitation recited in asserted claim 1 of the ’256 patent under the ALJ’s construction of that limitation? See Markman Order (Order No. 53) at 41-43.

The ITC has asked both Apple and Nokia to file responses to the questions.

Apple and Nokia have been battling each other in a patent war since 2009, when Nokia first filed suit against Apple alleging patent infringement. Nokia believes that Apple hasn’t paid licensing fees for technologies used in the iPhone that Nokia believes is covered by Nokia patents, while Apple has argued that Nokia’s licensing terms are unreasonable and that most of its patents don’t apply.

There is currently a web of suits, counter suits, ITC complaints and counter complaints, suits in the UK, with lawyers galore and all manner of crisscrossing battle lines.