Nokia Sues Apple ... Again
In the market, Nokia and Apple are the two siblings that just can't seem to get along. For years, Nokia has sued Apple over multiple years and issues. In response, Apple has been counter-suing Nokia. What’s the issue? The companies have invested online cash loans – over 40 billion dollars worth. So what is the newest move in this chess game?
Lawsuit spurred by Apple iPad
The question of 3G technology is at issue within the Nokia Apple lawsuit. You will find five separate patents at issue, all Nokia’s, that are the "technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission ... and innovations in antenna configurations ." The design of the Apple iPad uses the technology Nokia believes it designed. Without licenses or permission, Apple is being accused of using proprietary Nokia tech.
The 2009 lawsuit between Nokia and Apple
This is the second Nokia lawsuit filed against Apple. In 2009, Nokia sued Apple for patent violation on Nokia's cellular telephones. These lawsuits aim to prevent Apple from importing its products into Europe, where Nokia holds the largest market share. In response to the 2009 lawsuit, Apple counter-sued Nokia. Apple's claims against Nokia are also being investigated by the U.S. International Trade Commission. If Nokia wins the lawsuits, Apple may be forced to change the technology it uses in 3G phones and may be barred from importing its older handsets and iPads into Europe. If Apple wins the counter-suits, Nokia may be required to change its technology and can be barred from importing to the United States. Either way, there are billions of dollars of mobile phone market share at stake.
The final meaning of Nokia-Apple lawsuits
The real question that sits in the center of the Nokia and Apple lawsuits is intellectual property. Millions of dollars are spent by both Nokia and Apple each year on developing new and better cellular technologies. The way U.S. copyright law is written, a product and process can be patented, but a program must be copyrighted. The slightest change in process or product can change a patent. For both of these companies, the dedicated developers they hire often sign away the IP rights of what they develop. Because many cellular manufacturing companies are multi-national, they must deal with dozens of different legal frameworks.