Nokia Sues Apple Over Patent Infringements

[qi:105] Updated: Nokia is suing Apple over the alleged infringement of patents held by the Finnish handset maker pertaining to WLAN, GSM and UMTS. Nokia said in a statement:

The ten patents in suit relate to technologies fundamental to making devices which are compatible with one or more of the GSM, UMTS (3G WCDMA) and wireless LAN standards. 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.

“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, 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.”

Nokia is holding a conference call about the suit; We’ll be back with more details in a little while. Update: The technologies at the heart of the lawsuit have been licensed to several dozen other companies by Nokia. Notably, the filing comes more than two years after the launch of the initial iPhone and follows extended negotiations between the two companies.

But the timing of the suit also underscores the degree to which Apple has overtaken Nokia in the smartphone space. Nokia last week reported its first quarterly net loss in more than a decade as its North American sales tumbled by nearly a third. Apple’s momentum, meanwhile, just keeps growing. (Apple representatives were not immediately available for comment.)

Nokia is looking to collect patent royalties of 1 or 2 percent for each iPhone sold, according to a note from Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, which — given the roughly 34 million iPhone units already in the hands of users — would amount to $200 million-$400 million. That’s not a lot of money to either company, of course. But Nokia is clearly hoping it can be more successful in the courtroom than it’s been in the marketplace.

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