Technology

Apple Sues Nokia, Claims Infringement


The maker of the iPhone says Nokia is wrongfully using 13 of its patents

By William McQuillen

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. (AAPL), maker of the iPod and iTunes music software, said it filed a countersuit claiming that Nokia Oyj (NOK) is infringing its technology.

In the suit filed today in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, Apple claimed Nokia is wrongfully using 13 of its patents. The claim seeks an order barring Nokia from infringing and for unspecified damages.

"Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours," Bruce Sewell, Cupertino, California-based Apple's general counsel, said in a statement.

Nokia, the world's largest phone maker, sued Apple in October claiming infringement of 10 patents and seeking back royalties on the 33.7 million iPhones sold since the device's introduction in 2007. Espoo, Finland-based Nokia had said that all Apple iPhone models use Nokia's technology for wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption.

Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said the counterclaim doesn't change the "fundamentals" of the original patent infringement suit.

"We will need time to study it before we make any direct comment," Durrant said in a telephone interview. "But it changes nothing in the fundamentals of the original filing made by Nokia in Delaware."

Denies Infringement

The Nokia E71, Carbide.c++, Nokia 5310, Nokia N900 all infringe Apple's patents, Apple claims in today's filing. Apple also denies infringing the 10 patents Nokia had alleged and added that Nokia's patents are invalid and shouldn't be enforced.

Nokia is seeking royalties for the patents that have been infringed with the Apple iPhone, Apple iPhone 3G and Apple iPhone 3GS.

Apple's actions have allowed it to charge less for its products, because it hasn't had to recover development costs, Nokia said in its complaint. Nokia said it spent about €40 billion ($60.1 billion) during the past two decades in research and development.

Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the third quarter. Nokia, with sales in more than 150 countries, delivered 5.7 million touch-screen devices and shipped 108.5 million phones overall in the quarter.

Apple fell $1.76 to $194.67 today in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

The case is Nokia Corp. v. Apple Inc., 09cv791, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: William McQuillen in Washington at bmcquillen@bloomberg.net.

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