Nokia sues Apple for patent infringement

Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:29pm EDT
 

By Tarmo Virki, European technology correspondent

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The world's top cell phone maker Nokia Oyj on Thursday charged Apple with infringing Nokia patents in its iPhone.

Nokia dominates the global handset market but it has lost some ground to new smartphone entrants like Apple which entered the market with its iPhone in mid-2007.

The 10 patents in the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. state of Delaware, relate to technologies fundamental for devices using GSM, UMTS and/or local area network (LAN) standards, Nokia said.

"Nokia's enormous patent portfolio doesn't make this a big surprise but it could have severe repercussions for Apple and its component supplier," said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber. "Once again intellectual property has become the secondary battleground in a highly competitive mobile phone market."

Last year, Nokia ended a more than three-year legal battle with U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm which spanned three continents and involved more than a dozen separate cases. "It's too early to tell, but it's likely to be a drawn out battle. We have a hard time seeing a material risk to either company," said Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton.

"They're both big companies, they have lots of cash and they can fight it and in the end I don't really see a dramatic impact to Apple's financial profile."

Legal battles over as many as 10 technology patents can easily take several years.

The patents cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed by all Apple iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Nokia said.   Continued...

 
<p>An Apple iPhone 3GS sits on a cradle at a Singtel showroom ahead of the phone launch this evening in Singapore in this July 10, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Tim Chong</p>