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Nokia sues Apple over iPhone's use of patented wireless standards

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Global handset leader Nokia announced Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against rival Apple, alleging that the iPhone infringes on GSM and wireless LAN related patents owned by the Finnish company.

The cell phone maker has alleged that Apple has violated ten patents owned by Nokia. Specifically, the company claims ownership of technology relating to the Global System for Mobile communications, or GSM; wireless local area network, or WLAN; and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, or UMTS.

In a press release, the world's largest cell phone manufacturer said it has invested more than 40 billion Euros in research into research and development in the last two decades, earning it one of the "strongest and broadest patent portfolios in the industry." Nokia said it has entered into license agreements with about 40 companies for these patents.

"The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for," said Ilkka Rahnasto, vice president of Legal & Intellectual Property at Nokia. "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."

The ten patents relate to devices compatible with GSM, UTMS (3G WCDMA) and wireless LAN standards, and cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption. Nokia has alleged that all iPhone models released since 2007 infringe on these patents.

The suit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Delaware.

As the iPhone has grown in popularity, Nokia has retained its status as market leader, but has lost significant share of the market it has dominated. As recently as August, Nokia's Symbian mobile platform was said to have a 50 percent market share, well down from the 72 percent the platform had in 2006. In the second quarter of 2009, the iPhone represented 14 percent of global smartphone sales.

Though Nokia still controls the market, competitors Apple and Research in Motion are said to have profit margins that far exceed their market share. In its fourth financial quarter of 2009, Apple saw its profits surge 46 percent, bolstered by a record quarter for iPhone shipments.
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post #2 of 74
Another IP legal battle. Another fight where only the lawyers win.

Nokia, Apple and all the other tech companies should think a bit harder before suing in future.
post #3 of 74
Quote:
Though Nokia still controls the market, competitors Apple and Research in Motion are said to have profit margins that far exceed their market share.

Having a bulk of the market hardly qualifies as controlling the market. It's pretty obvious that Apple and RIM have been controlling the market as competitors race to match them.
post #4 of 74
If you can't compete, sue them. Apple is the darling of the industry and more lawsuits are sure to come.

May be Steve Jobs should go to law school and start Apple Law, Inc to fight these jealous bastards.
post #5 of 74
This thread works now.

My main question. How is the iPhone the only GSM phone in the world that infringes on these patents? Nokia is suing no one else.
post #6 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This thread works now.

My main question. How is the iPhone the only GSM phone in the world that infringes on these patents? Nokia is suing no one else.

The article clearly states that the other GSM phone manufacturers license the technology. I'm sure there are others that don't, but Apple has all the publicity and is doing quite well so has deep pockets. If Apple is using tech they, uh... , borrowed from someone else, they should pay for it. I'm not an Apple hater by any means, I love my iPhone and waited years to get one. But they need to make sure they're not stealing.
post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This thread works now.

My main question. How is the iPhone the only GSM phone in the world that infringes on these patents? Nokia is suing no one else.

Do you have a list of who has licensed Nokia's technology? There's nothing in the article suggesting that Nokia is singling out Apple which would likely mean others have a license.
post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by alleymon View Post

The article clearly states that the other GSM phone manufacturers license the technology. I'm sure there are others that don't, but Apple has all the publicity and is doing quite well so has deep pockets. If Apple is using tech they, uh... , borrowed from someone else, they should pay for it. I'm not an Apple hater by any means, I love my iPhone and waited years to get one. But they need to make sure they're not stealing.

I would bet the argument is more over money (as the article says), and maybe over whether Nokia *should* have the right to charge licensing fees. I could see Apple taking a stand on both.

I don't know any of the details but on the face of it it doesn't seem likely that there is any "secret tech" that really needs to be licensed. If it's a case of Nokia just wanting everyone who uses a cell phone to pay them a dollar, then I would fight it also.
post #9 of 74
I hate patent trolls, but this seems to be a legitimate case. Apple basically already acknowledges that Nokia has the patents, they're just not happy paying 1-2% on every phone they sell. Apple's success isn't derived from Nokia's patents. Yes they are important parts of the iPhone, but does Nokia really deserve $12 a phone? I'm not privy to what license fees are for these kinds of technologies, but I'm guessing that Nokia doesn't demand such high royalties on phones that cost $50 using the SAME patents. These patents should have a standard fee per unit royalty that is standard, not based on a percentage of the price of the item using the patent. When you buy a tire for your car, you don't pay based on a % of the value of your car. It's the same price for the same tire no matter what kind of car it goes on.
post #10 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

If you can't compete, sue them. Apple is the darling of the industry and more lawsuits are sure to come.

Does that apply to Apple suing Psystar?
post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This thread works now.

My main question. How is the iPhone the only GSM phone in the world that infringes on these patents? Nokia is suing no one else.

That's because the other companies have licensed their technology according to their lawsuit. Apple refused to pay it seems.
post #12 of 74
Expect Apple to file a countersuit claiming that Nokia's latest models are violating a bunch of Apple user interface patents, followed by a relatively short court case which ends with a settlement where the two companies cross license their patent portfolios to each other. A small amount (tens of millions of dollars) of money may exchange hands between the companies as part of the settlement. What is certain is that many lawyers will make lots of money...
post #13 of 74
If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em.

My European friends are always aghast at how lawsuit-happy we are here in the US.

Looks like Finns aren't far behind.
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by alleymon View Post

The article clearly states that the other GSM phone manufacturers license the technology. I'm sure there are others that don't, but Apple has all the publicity and is doing quite well so has deep pockets. If Apple is using tech they, uh... , borrowed from someone else, they should pay for it. I'm not an Apple hater by any means, I love my iPhone and waited years to get one. But they need to make sure they're not stealing.

I agree- imagine if the shoe were on the other foot? People on here would be calling Bloody Murder, especially gazoobee.
post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I would bet the argument is more over money (as the article says), and maybe over whether Nokia *should* have the right to charge licensing fees. I could see Apple taking a stand on both.

That or the relevant chips should pay license. Kind of odd to me that the license cost could actually be more than the cost of the wireless chip!

Is the idea of seamless transition between 3G and WiFi patented? (I guess that is a stupid question... every obvious idea seems to be...)
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by alleymon View Post

The article clearly states that the other GSM phone manufacturers license the technology. I'm sure there are others that don't, but Apple has all the publicity and is doing quite well so has deep pockets. If Apple is using tech they, uh... , borrowed from someone else, they should pay for it. I'm not an Apple hater by any means, I love my iPhone and waited years to get one. But they need to make sure they're not stealing.

What technology are you talking about? how do you know that Apple really violates Nokia patents? Just because Nokia says that Apple does without giving details and information about the patent doesn't make it so. Qualcomm countersued Nokia in 2005 regarding GSM patents and Nokia settled by paying loyalties to Qualcomm for the next 15 years. Nokia is just trying to get Apple to sign a cross licensing agreement related to the patents Apple own.
post #17 of 74
If you can't get at least one other person to read an article before posting, it shows a lack of respect for the many you expect will read it. The information is very good but several errors made my "grammar-sensor" hurt.

Good article. Get a proofreader.
post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by beakernx01 View Post

I hate patent trolls, but this seems to be a legitimate case. Apple basically already acknowledges that Nokia has the patents, they're just not happy paying 1-2% on every phone they sell. Apple's success isn't derived from Nokia's patents. Yes they are important parts of the iPhone, but does Nokia really deserve $12 a phone? I'm not privy to what license fees are for these kinds of technologies, but I'm guessing that Nokia doesn't demand such high royalties on phones that cost $50 using the SAME patents. These patents should have a standard fee per unit royalty that is standard, not based on a percentage of the price of the item using the patent. When you buy a tire for your car, you don't pay based on a % of the value of your car. It's the same price for the same tire no matter what kind of car it goes on.

I predict hellacious closed-door negotiations between Apple and Nokia... for the next year.

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post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

What technology are you talking about? how do you know that Apple really violates Nokia patents? Just because Nokia says that Apple does without giving details and information about the patent doesn't make it so. Qualcomm countersued Nokia in 2005 regarding GSM patents and Nokia settled by paying loyalties to Qualcomm for the next 15 years. Nokia is just trying to get Apple to sign a cross licensing agreement related to the patents Apple own.

I guess the same question could be posed to you: How do you know Nokia is just trying to get Apple to sign a cross licensing agreement? I'm not harassing, just wondering...
post #20 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em.

My European friends are always aghast at how lawsuit-happy we are here in the US.

Looks like Finns aren't far behind.

You obviously do not know any Finns
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post #21 of 74
Apple did not invent the basic wireless technologies of the iPhone.Currently, Apple is paying out $50 in royalties per unit of the iPhone to InterDigital, Qualcomm, and Tessera. After Qualcomm lost its patent infringement lawsuit against Nokia last year (GSM), it is only logical that Nokia is now suing Apple. Communication, networking and internet technologies were always the weakest elements in Apple's business model for the Macintosh computer.
Personally, I do not believe that behind Nokia's lawsuits are purely monetary considerations. The real iPhone innovation is the operating system OS X which is light years ahead of Nokia's Symbian S60 OS. Symbian was developed for mobile phones with weak processors, limited storage, low bandwidth etc.. It dominates the lower end of the mobile phone market worldwide. The iPhone is the first smart phone built on the assumption that limitations in bandwidth, processor, memory will completely disappear. For high end mobile phones, it is now possible to use mature computer operating systems like the OS X. These OS have many advantages over Symbian (sophisticated user interfaces, programmable in Objective C (Cocoa) instead of C++, platform for desktop applications, use of desktop browsers, e-mail clients etc.). If Nokia is smart, it might use the lawsuit to gain access to a new OS for its phones.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by techfan View Post

I guess the same question could be posed to you: How do you know Nokia is just trying to get Apple to sign a cross licensing agreement? I'm not harassing, just wondering...

Because they can gain more by using, for example, Apple's iPhone mullti-touch technology or few of the other 300+ iPhone patents. History showed us that these types of battles between two large corporations almost always end up in cross licensing agreements as part of the settlement. For example, see Qualcomm vs Nokia case I mentioned before.
post #23 of 74
Hahaha it must be a "sue apple" week lol
post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by caljomac View Post

Hahaha it must be a "sue apple" week lol

You mean the last 3 years were sue Apple years
post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

If you can't compete, sue them. Apple is the darling of the industry and more lawsuits are sure to come.

May be Steve Jobs should go to law school and start Apple Law, Inc to fight these jealous bastards.

iLaw
post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

What technology are you talking about? how do you know that Apple really violates Nokia patents? Just because Nokia says that Apple does without giving details and information about the patent doesn't make it so. Qualcomm countersued Nokia in 2005 regarding GSM patents and Nokia settled by paying loyalties to Qualcomm for the next 15 years. Nokia is just trying to get Apple to sign a cross licensing agreement related to the patents Apple own.

Good point.

Apple makes none of the radio technology in iPhone, they buy chips from vendors who are in the business of making components for cell phones. If the chip vendor either owns or has a license for the technology, I don't see how Nokia can sue Apple...
post #27 of 74
How about Nokia "compensate" apple for driving smartphone revolution, developing a workable touch screen and getting the average user to actually buy a smartphone.
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post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene View Post

have many advantages over Symbian (sophisticated user interfaces, programmable in Objective C (Cocoa) instead of C++

Since when is Objective C superior to C++? I agree that Cocoa is superior to any GUI framework out there (including C++ ones), but Objective-C is not really superior to C++ (not that I claim it is true the other way round).
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatherder View Post

If you can't get at least one other person to read an article before posting, it shows a lack of respect for the many you expect will read it. The information is very good but several errors made my "grammar-sensor" hurt.

Good article. Get a proofreader.

Amen to that. I've been seeing typos left and right lately on AI.
Quality is key within this demographic. After all, we all have or want Apple products.

I'm getting the gist that Nokia will shift from the device manufacturing business to more of a service orientation; they really haven't made any progress in the smartphone market, and I'm seeing more press regarding their technology development, licencing and infrastructure businesses. Perhaps this suit is in accordance with this shift.

I hope Apple wins. I don't want my next iPhone to be any more expensive than it already is\
post #30 of 74
First we keep ATT alive with The Iphone. Next Nokia loses megamillions. Hmmm, lets ask the Iphone to save us now, maybe we can survive completely on royalties since we can't compete on product. Apple has 34 billion in cash right? Buy them and Apple gets the royalties from everyone else correct? Maybe just the royalties themselves will cover the cost of the acquisition if Nokia simply becomes Apples patent company and gets out of the phone business altogether.
post #31 of 74
I figured with a story like this where Apple can be cast in a bad light that surely Dilbert would come out of the woodwork in one of his guises such as Princess McLean. Where is he? Please tell us if he's finally gone so we can all go back to subscribing to your RSS and visiting your site again.
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

If you can't compete, sue them. Apple is the darling of the industry and more lawsuits are sure to come.

May be Steve Jobs should go to law school and start Apple Law, Inc to fight these jealous bastards.

i think that would be a terrible waste of mr. jobs' talent...
post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobrik View Post

Since when is Objective C superior to C++? I agree that Cocoa is superior to any GUI framework out there (including C++ ones), but Objective-C is not really superior to C++ (not that I claim it is true the other way round).

I would argue it is, but each to their own. Objective C is a much more elegant solution to the same problem IMO. Less is more.
post #34 of 74
How can anyone defend Apple here when they claim to have patented.... pinching.

That doesn't make Nokia right, but I mean seriously, Apple has all sorts of ridiculous patents they are enforcing as well. You play the game, you get the blame.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobrik View Post

Since when is Objective C superior to C++? I agree that Cocoa is superior to any GUI framework out there (including C++ ones), but Objective-C is not really superior to C++ (not that I claim it is true the other way round).

Using the term "superior" was probably a poor choice. Compiler technology has evolved over the years but originally both C++ and Objective C programs were pre-processed to C programs which were then compiled. So claiming superiority would be difficult but it could be claimed that Objective C is a language with a higher level of abstraction. It is more like SmallTalk than C. Both C++ and Objective C claim to be object oriented languages but Alan Kay, inventor of object oriented technology at Xerox PARC, said that C++ was certainly not what he had in mind.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Does that apply to Apple suing Psystar?

No, because Apple is competing very well against Psystar (according to Apple's latest results).

Apple is suing Psystar to "protect the brand".
post #37 of 74
as it was pointed out, Apple did not develop its own GSM technology, it a standard base technology which a number of company have IP included in the over implementation of the technology and usually much of the IP is cross license to all the companies who wish to deploy this technology. Can not remember who's GSM chip set apple is using, but you can figure that company has the necessary license to may a GSM chip set. That is the company who have the ultimate responsibility and most likely apple has an agreement with that company saying the would cover apple if someone brought suit against apple due to use of those chip sets.

However, if the law suite is about software apple had to use to make the chip set work correctly that on would sit squarely in apple's court
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobrik View Post

Since when is Objective C superior to C++?

Objective-C has been said to be a lot closer to an implementation of Object-oriented programming envisaged by the designer/inventor of OOP. Who has come and said that "C++ wasn't what he had in mind when he came up with the idea of OOP".

Besides objective-c allows use of C and C++, so by definition it must be superior, as you can't do Obj-C in C++.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Expect Apple to file a countersuit claiming that Nokia's latest models are violating a bunch of Apple user interface patents, followed by a relatively short court case which ends with a settlement where the two companies cross license their patent portfolios to each other. A small amount (tens of millions of dollars) of money may exchange hands between the companies as part of the settlement. What is certain is that many lawyers will make lots of money...

Not exactly. I agree that this is leverage for Nokia to get authorization on their upcoming smartphones to have the behavior of Apple's UI.

Apple will tell them to shove it on that one.

This will be dealt with out of court and Apple will weigh the cost of licensing and pay it while still retaining absolute control over Smartphone UI advancements that Nokia can't leverage without getting their asses handed to them in court.
post #40 of 74

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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