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Apple ITC complaint seeks to ban Nokia phones

updated 10:40 am EST, Sat January 16, 2010

Apple counters Nokia's trade ban move

Apple on Friday retaliated against Nokia's trade ban request by filing its own complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC). The iPhone inventor seeks to block imports of Nokia's phones to the US under the claim that they infringe Apple patents. Full details weren't available for the request, which the ITC will need to approve before it launches an investigation.

Nokia insists it will "defend itself vigorously" against the complaint and reiterated its opinion that Apple is trying to benefit from Nokia-developed wireless technology, including aspects of 3G. A number of companies already have licenses from Nokia, but few have challenged the validity of the patents behind the techniques.

"This does not alter the fact that Apple has failed to agree appropriate terms for using Nokia technology and has been seeking a free ride on Nokia's innovation since it shipped the first iPhone in 2007," a spokesman alleges.

The gesture once again draws Apple even with Nokia. The latter's ITC complaint in December would, if won, entirely ban sales of most if not all iPhones, iPods and Macs. Nokia's call for a trade ban in turn was a response to Apple countersuing Nokia; the response accused Nokia of suing only because it couldn't fairly compete in the smartphone space and that it was trying to profiteer from another's success.

Critics have noted that purchasing trends have partly supported Apple's view, as Nokia has been steadily losing market share since the iPhone became available internationally, especially in its usual stronghold of Europe.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Innovate or litigate

    There is no reason for Nokia's activities other than loss of market share as they demonstrate their inferiority through the use of the "litigate if you can't innovate" paradigm.

  1. LEStudios

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nokia just sucks!

    Their actions shows. What Apple did was woke everybody up and we realize what crappy phone we we're using. Thank God for Apple!

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I wouldn't be surprised if all Nokia products infringe on Apple IP such as the Newton.

  1. dthree

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So many apple fanboys. When apple sues someone else for the same exact reason, you guys are all for it.

  1. jreades

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So productive...

    I've always enjoyed how anything that questions Apple's motives gets immediately down-voted, even if it's a perfectly legitimate query. Apple reinvented the smartphone category, but it did not (contrary to apparently popular belief) invent the cellular phone. So Nokia may well legitimately have patents on methods for wireless data or voice access that Apple is violating. Similarly, Apple may well have patents on several UI methods that Nokia is violating as well.

    This is all foreplay. Neither side in this case is pure as the driven snow and I'd be willing to bet that, barring a grand slam ruling for one side or the other, all of this will be miraculously settled just prior to it ending up in a binding decision with some kind of cross-licensing agreement. Nokia will say "OK, you can use our patents on wireless stuff" and Apple will say "OK, you can use our patents on UI methods so long as you don't turn out something that violates copyright law." Whoop de do.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    this 'both sides are equally guilty' c*** is often just lazy thinking.

    Do you really believe that Apple has been infringing on Nokia's patents for the last 2.5 years (or longer, depending if you draw the timeline further back into the iPhone's development), and Nokia JUST NOW discovered it?

    And that that is completely coincidental with Nokia bleeding market share?

    Yes, this is a t**-for-tat by Apple. But it really strains credibility to think that Apple is 'no better' than Nokia in this matter.

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