updated 06:44 pm EST, Wed March 6, 2013
Nokia takes fault in court ruling of need for 'causal nexus'
After asking for an extension, Nokia has filed an amicus curae ("friend of the court") brief in the Apple versus Samsung patent battles, supporting Apple's position of a permanent injunction against some Samsung products. Nokia's filing believes that the case is currently headed towards a "compulsory-licensing system, wherein patent holders are forced to license patented technology to competing firms, which could in turn harm incentives to innovate."
Most of the filing is still sealed, but the motion that was filed to get Nokia the extension says that "Nokia's interest in this case is to advocate for patent laws that (i) protect patent rights as a means for promoting the constitutional goal of developing technology for public benefit; and (ii) foster and encourage innovation by allowing patent holders to obtain permanent injunctions against infringing competitors in appropriate circumstances. Nokia therefore supports the Appellant's request for reversal of the District Court's denial of a permanent injunction based on application of the wrong legal standard." Nokia also goes on to say that it has no position on any other matter in the trial.
Nokia feels that the district court's current ruling -- which requires a "causal nexus" between the patent and the "source of demand for the infringing product" -- will wreak havoc on the already-confused patent protection system, and sets a dangerous precedent for future rulings. It goes on to say that the "'causal nexus' requirement as applied by the district court here -- making the evidentiary standard for obtaining a permanent injunction so burdensome and strict that it may rarely, if ever, be met -- will essentially lead to a compulsory-licensing system."
Apple and Nokia have had patent battles in the past. A patent agreement in 2011 ended some disputes, but Sony and Nokia own non-practicing entity MobileMedia, a complainant against Apple, who has a case in the Delaware court system in regards to Sony's original screen rotation patent. The filing is less about supporting Apple, and more about Nokia's future strategies in both patenting and litigation.