updated 11:15 am EDT, Fri October 23, 2009
Move a preemptive strike?
Following news of Nokia's patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, UBS analyst Maynard Um suggests the possibility of a hidden agenda. The case -- involving Nokia patents on technology ranging from 3G to Wi-Fi and GSM -- could be a preemptive strike in order to avoid possible infringement issues with soon-to-be-released Nokia phones, many of which contain multi-touch capabilities similar to Apple's own.
Um suggests that Apple could eventually file an infringement suit against Nokia, if new phones do indeed seem to violate Apple patents. The resulting legal conflict would potentially be a lengthy one, involving US Patent Office reviews. The overall outcome is however expected to be an out-of-court settlement, which could result in cross-licensing agreements.
Nokia remains the world's predominant cellphone maker, but it has gradually lost ground in recent years. The company may feel particularly threatened in the smartphone realm, where companies such as Apple and RIM have advanced rapidly. In the North American market, Nokia devices like the N96 have had relatively marginal sales.