Nokia sues Apple for infringing patents, industry back on war footing

Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:04pm EST
 
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By Eric Auchard and Jussi Rosendahl

BELGRADE/HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia Corp (NOKIA.HE: Quote) said on Wednesday it had filed a number of lawsuits against Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) for violating 32 technology patents, striking back at the iPhone maker's legal action targeting the one-time cellphone industry leader a day earlier.

Nokia's lawsuits, filed in courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, Germany, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, cover patents for displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets and video coding.

"Since agreeing a license covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple's products," Nokia said in a statement.

Apple on Tuesday had taken legal action against Acacia Research Corp (ACTG.O: Quote) and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc [GEGGIM.UL], accusing them of colluding with Nokia to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly from Apple.

"We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products," said Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock. "Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s own inventions they had nothing to do with."

Acacia and Conversant did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and Nokia was not immediately available to comment on the Apple lawsuit.

The legal action by Nokia and Apple appear to mark a revival of the "smartphone patent wars" that began five years ago, when Apple filed a series of patent infringement cases against Samsung Electronics (005930.KS: Quote) around the world, with wins and losses on both sides.

Apple's lawsuit against Acacia, Conversant and Nokia was filed only one day after Ottawa-based Conversant named Boris Teksler as its new chief executive. He had worked as Apple's director of patent licensing and strategy from 2009 to 2013, the latter half of his tenure overlapping with the lawsuits against Samsung.   Continued...

 
Headquarters of Finnish telecommunication network company Nokia are pictured in Espoo, Finland August 4, 2016. Lehtikuva/Irene Stachon/via REUTERS