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Details on Nokia's complaint against Apple UI

updated 01:15 pm EST, Mon January 4, 2010

Patents cover clickwheels, cameras, keyboards

More concrete facts have emerged on Nokia's complaint to the International Trade Commission about Apple. Finnish publication Taloussanomat reports that the complaint is nearly 50 pages long, and mentions several specific technologies as being stolen. These include the clickwheels on iPods, and the enlarged key icons seen when tapping on an iPhone or iPod touch's virtual keyboard.

Other interface elements said to be copied from Nokia include highlights of web and e-mail links in messages, and the automatic shutoff of touchscreen controls when bringing a phone to the ear. Apple is also accused of breaking one patent on combining multiple camera functions on the same chip, and another relating to merging a speaker and an antenna. Both are connected in terms of space-saving measures.

Taloussanomat also reports that Nokia has plans to begin a second lawsuit against Apple, in addition to the one filed in October. The company must still contend with an Apple countersuit, which alleges that it has copied the iPhone because it cannot otherwise compete. While Nokia remains a dominant phone maker worldwide, it has lost smartphone share to companies like Apple and RIM.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I suspect...

    that many of Nokia's complaints won't fly, too generic or unenforceable. A lot fo people do not know, for example, that you can put any title on a book you want as titles are not copyrightable. On the other hand, I'm sure there is merit to Apple's cpuntersuit which is most likely "more current" in terms of trying to save Nokia's bacon. Nokia had boring products and now they claim Apple stole their boring stuff!

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple should just... Nokia and be done with it...

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Click wheels? Are they on crack?

    So, now they are claiming that Apple, after all these years stole the click wheel? Really? Nokia? Really?!?

    Thanks a lot Nokia for making me feel ashamed of my Finnish heritage. I used to be proud of being a Finn and proud of Nokia as a leader and innovator in the phone business but now they are just a bunch of unimaginative patent trolls.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    key magnified when touched

    Consult Kama Sutra, please.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    maybe nokia will next include

    the fact that the iphone uses a microphone and speaker as well as numbers for dialing a telephone number?

    oh, how about the fact that the iphone has a screen?

  1. clwilla

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Time Limit

    So far as I can recall, patent complaints must be made in a reasonable time in order to be enforceable.

    Assuming that the click wheel design is actually stolen (which I highly doubt), I would guess that, since it has been in use for so long without complaint that Nokia would have lost the right to complain about it. Anything iPhone related is well over 2 years old at this point, and Nokia just now finds that patents are being infringed.

    Good luck with that Nokia.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nokia patents apply strictly to phones

    I'm going to go out on a limb and pretend Nokia's complaint even has a chance; and then I'm going out on the farthest branch I can find on that limb and pretend that their lawsuit even has any merit; at which point I'm going to ask don't Nokia's patents only apply to telephones??

    And if the answer is yes, only a fool would look for an even farther limb to pretend Nokia can establish that any of Apple's technology is a result of or strictly a feature of a "phone". Every piece of technology Nokia would like to challenge on the iPhone was pre-existing Apple technology on an iPod, Mac or Newton. Not to mention, the iTunes App store has over 100,000 reasons more than Nokia that make an argument the iPhone is actually a handheld application device with the phone feature just being one application among hundreds of thousands.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    flop sweat

    next to that in the dictionary, there's a copy of this lawsuit.

  1. dthree

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nobody wins

    Doesn't matter how it plays out anymore. From now on Nokia will be known as the bully and apple the thief.

  1. peter02l

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    "maybe nokia will next include the fact that the iphone uses a microphone and speaker as well as numbers for dialing a telephone number?"

    As long as Apple avoids using numbers 0-9 they are ok. They can use roman numerals. Nokia doesn't yet have a patent on those.

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