updated 12:05 pm EST, Mon January 10, 2011
Simplified battle still set in six courts
Apple has won a minor procedural victory in its legal battle with Nokia. One lawsuit, in which the two companies are each asserting seven patents against one another, is now being transferred from the Western District of Wisconsin to the District of Delaware. Delaware is already home to two Apple/Nokia cases, into which the Wisconsin one could potentially be folded as a result of the latest court ruling.
Nokia lawyers challenged Apple's petition on the basis that it might delay the conclusion of the Wisconsin case by as much as a year and a half. In December Apple in fact lost a motion to consolidate two Nokia and two HTC cases, as the court determined that it would be inefficient to merge cases with different parties, and one of the Apple/Nokia suits had been stayed to accommodate ITC investigations.
The transfer motion is said to have been a success because of the similarity of the cases involved, and because Nokia is a Finnish company without any substantial link to Wisconsin. The court significantly remarked that the Wisconsin suit was filed only after two in Delaware, making any urgency arguments moot. Apple also mentioned that witnesses from companies like Infineon, Foxconn and Samsung will have to travel to Delaware, but because they aren't being compelled to testify, the court is reported to have ignored the claim.