ITC formally investigates Apple over Nokia patent complaints

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In what has been viewed as an early win for Nokia, the U.S. International Trade Commission has begun to probe Apple in response to a complaint from the Finnish handset maker over alleged patent violations.



The ITC on Monday formally began its investigation into whether Apple has infringed on patents owned by Nokia. The complaint was originally opened in late December, when Nokia filed a lawsuit with the ITC alleging Apple has infringed on patents in its iPhones, iPods and Mac line of products.



In total, Nokia has accused Apple of treading on seven distinct patents to create key features in products through the user interface, camera, antenna and power management technologies. Nokia officials believe Apple has infringed on patents it owns that have led to key advances in small electronic devices.



According to Reuters, the ITC could choose to ban Apple from selling products in the U.S., if it finds the Cupertino, Calif., company to be in violation. A Nokia spokeswoman said the company was "pleased" that the ITC had begun its investigation quickly.



But weeks after Nokia filed its ITC complaint, Apple fired back with a lawsuit of its own. Apple has asked the ITC to ban handset imports from Nokia, and it's possible the commission could also choose to investigate Apple's claims as well. Given that Apple filed its ITC complaint weeks after Nokia, such a decision would likely be made in the near future.



Still, CSS Insight analyst John Jackson told Reuters that the ITC's decision was a "clear tactical win" for Nokia. But given how long these kinds of disputes typically last, the impact will not likely be known for some time.



The dispute began last October, when Nokia sued Apple over the alleged infringement of patents related to GSM, wireless LAN and UMTS. Then, in December, Apple countersued Nokia, alleging that the Finnish company infringed on 13 of its patents.



Nokia is seeking payments of up to 1 billion euros, or $1.415 billion, from Apple. Some industry watchers have predicted that the battle of two Goliaths could last up to three years.



Apple, in the past, said that it would "vigorously" defend itself from Nokia's claims. Apple executives were asked about the Nokia patent dispute during Monday's quarterly earnings conference call, but declined to comment.



"As you know, we have a long-standing process of not commenting on pending litigation," Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said.



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. Many see Nokia's move to sue Apple as an attempt to fight off the gains Apple has seen in the smartphone market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,583member
    So boring. So sleepy. Must take nap.



    Ssssnnorrrkkkkk.
  • Reply 2 of 92
    No big deal here -- it means nothing at all. The ITC is compelled to investigate formally filed complaints. That is what they are paid to do. They have no choice.
  • Reply 3 of 92
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Let the SCO style lawsuits from Nokia begin.
  • Reply 4 of 92
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,583member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    Let the SCO style lawsuits from Nokia begin.



    You nailed it. That's all this will be.
  • Reply 5 of 92
    I guess we know what nokia has chosen to do between the two options 1) build the iphone killer 2) sue apple
  • Reply 6 of 92
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    If Apple (or anyone else) want's to hit Nokia hard, bring anti-dumping action up before the ITC.



    Free GPS will cost American jobs.
  • Reply 7 of 92
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Poor Nokia. I guess they just didn't have enough money to produce anything worthwhile on their own for all those years. Maybe Apple's money will help?
  • Reply 8 of 92
    dylerdyler Posts: 37member
    This is insane, Nokia cannot build a quality product anymore so instead of trying and doing things the way capitalism is supposed to work you sue the person you are losing market share to. What a bunch of bs, the USA should not allow Finnish companies to sue our companies, Nokia is a bunch of morons in my opinion who are just making the world worse for everyone else, companies should compete with one another and if one cannot make a better product than the other one they should close down their business because they failed, Nokia sees they are going to have to do that and then some idiot lawyer says hey lets sue the big guy now who is Apple and maybe we can get some money. Nokia = Scam Artists!!!
  • Reply 9 of 92
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:

    A Nokia spokeswoman said the company was "pleased" that the ITC had begun its investigation quickly.





    Not all that starts well, ends well.
  • Reply 10 of 92
    How by any stretch of the imagination is this a 'tactical win' for Nokia?



    This is like ringing the police and claiming your neighbour has been stealing the wind that blows across your garden, and then when they arrive next door to find out whats going on declaring it a 'tactical win' !
  • Reply 11 of 92
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post


    How by any stretch of the imagination is this a 'tactical win' for Nokia?



    This is like ringing the police and claiming your neighbour has been stealing the wind that blows across your garden, and then when they arrive next door to find out whats going on declaring it a 'tactical win' !



    Those words came from an analyst. Could one ever expect something intelligent?
  • Reply 12 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    Those words came from an analyst. Could one ever expect something intelligent?



    Analcyst more like!
  • Reply 13 of 92
    boogabooga Posts: 1,073member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    Let the SCO style lawsuits from Nokia begin.



    An ITC action, however, is usually resolved much faster than a typical patent lawsuit. The article mentioned 3 years, but ITC decisions are rarely more than 15 months or so. That's the primary reason many companies go to the ITC instead of filing a full US lawsuit.



    Of course, the ITC only involves itself with imported products, and their primary relief action is to ban the import of infringing products from entering the US, so it doesn't always work. It's possible in this case Nokia is referring to their "tactical win" as the decision by the ITC that the iPhone is an "imported product" and not a US product.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    No big deal here -- it means nothing at all. The ITC is compelled to investigate formally filed complaints. That is what they are paid to do. They have no choice.



    This is only thing important here. The ITC is doing its job, Nokia filed suit first against Apple so its only logical the ITC would act in "favor" of Nokia. Afterwards the tables will be turned and Nokia will be under scrutiny from the ITC so this isnt all that interesting...unless Apple IS infringing on something which means a big payday coming for Nokia rather than having their products banned from the US (isnt that where nearly the majority of iPhones are sold? I think it was in yesterdays Q4 report)
  • Reply 15 of 92
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,174member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    No big deal here -- it means nothing at all. The ITC is compelled to investigate formally filed complaints. That is what they are paid to do. They have no choice.



    yep. Doesn't mean Nokia will win or that the ITC will ban anything from Apple or when. We haven't seen a comment from the ITC that they define the iphone as an imported product even. They could be examining that issue as part of the investigation.



    by the same token, the ITC could investigate the complaints against Nokia as well.



    Wonder what would happen if they found both sides guilty and told them they had 90 days to sort it out on their own or they would both be banned from importing. I imagine it would take less than 90 hours for them to come to an accord.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dyler View Post


    This is insane, Nokia cannot build a quality product anymore




    that is beside the point. If Nokia created the original technology they have a right to gain from it whether they are directly using it or someone else is. At least for a period of time. Just as authors have a right to their writings, musicians to their music etc. That's what intellectual property laws are for.



    Quote:

    the USA should not allow Finnish companies to sue our companies,



    okay, sure. lets do that. lets be the big bullies and tell folks that we are going to take whatever we want and they can piss off. But of course if we create something and they steal it we'll come beat them down cause we are the US and that's not cool. That's basically what you are saying.



    Technology like cell phones takes time to create. And if everyone is forced to do it themselves you'd have 100 different formats and have to have a phone for every country in the world cause no one is sharing information.



    This said, I find it unlikely that Apple stole anything outright. I could see Nokia trying to double dip and/or charge Apple more and Apple saying no. If this is the case it will come out during the investigation.
  • Reply 16 of 92
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    If Apple (or anyone else) want's to hit Nokia hard, bring anti-dumping action up before the ITC.



    If I buy a tom tom now, it comes with free maps and navigation, if I get a garmin, it comes with free maps anf navigation, infact all the stand alone gps systems do, so if everyone does it, how come it is dumping when Nokia does it?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Free GPS will cost American jobs.



    You're an Australian, what is your point?
  • Reply 17 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Not all that starts well, ends well.



    Right. Let us get this ridiculousness done with quickly. I doubt they will put restrictions on either company, but it would be funny if Nokia ended up getting the restriction and had to pay for a license from Apple to sell in the US instead of the other way around. The ITC may very well throw out Nokia's complaint because they are trying to use their patents to get free access to intellectual property owned by Apple. Although I'm not a lawyer, so this theory is probably far fetched.
  • Reply 18 of 92
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,737member
    Who cares. Bring on the Tablet, Apple.



    Then settle with these clowns from Finland and continue to consign them into irrelevance.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    How hard would it have been to actually go to the ITC site to see what the heck they say about this rather than parroting some analyst?



    "By instituting this investigation (337-TA-701), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission."



    http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news.../er0125hh2.htm
  • Reply 20 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    An ITC action, however, is usually resolved much faster than a typical patent lawsuit. The article mentioned 3 years, but ITC decisions are rarely more than 15 months or so. That's the primary reason many companies go to the ITC instead of filing a full US lawsuit.



    Of course, the ITC only involves itself with imported products, and their primary relief action is to ban the import of infringing products from entering the US, so it doesn't always work. It's possible in this case Nokia is referring to their "tactical win" as the decision by the ITC that the iPhone is an "imported product" and not a US product.



    Normally a product is not considered an import in a multinational companies home country. Lawyers always try to spin things, but the ITC probably doesn't really have the ability to ban the iPhone in the US... It might be able to ban one of the chips inside the iPhone though...
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