Nokia Corp. filed a complaint against Apple with some lawsuits against Apple Inc. for the violation of 32 tech patents. The trial of Apple and Nokia is not a new one. It started in 2011, and it settled. But now they are back again. This time, Apple also filed an Antitrust lawsuit. It was not only against Nokia, but it is to all the third party companies called patent assertion entities (PAEs). And to reply back to Apple, it retaliated for this lawsuit. It sued Apple directly.
Apple argues that Nokia already made agreements to license the patents on fair and reasonable terms. It is the FRAND agreement. But the company is transferring the patents to PAEs to pursue money aggressively. Apple says it is “anticompetitive and abusive.”
Statement from Nokia
On the other hand, Nokia says,
It is suing Apple separately because it believes that Apple owes them money for the patents in Apple products. Apple also took legal action against two companies. The other companies are Acacia Research Corp, and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc. Apple accused them of taking part with Nokia for “extracting and extorting exorbitant revenues” by unfair means.
Since agreeing to a license covering some patents from our Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by our company to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products.
Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock said,
We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, they have refused to license their patents on a reasonable basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s inventions to which they had nothing to do with.
Neither Acacia nor Nokia commented on this. The legal action of both the companies seems to start a revival of “smartphone patent wars.” But Apple started this. Just one day after becoming the new chief executive of Apple, Boris Teksler filed the lawsuits against Acacia, Conversant, and Nokia. He worked as the director of the patent licensing for Apple from 2009-2013. Apple continues to say that these PAEs can pursuit patent infringement cases because they are not producing anything. Instead, they are building an entire business from fighting copyright infringement.
According to Apple, Acacia has it out for the company. It is evident from the number of patent lawsuits brought against it. PAEs have sued Apple for a minimum of 12 times depending on former Nokia’s patents only. And combining the patents of Nokia and other companies, Acacia sued Apple almost 40 times. Apple is focused on declaring this practice of routinely soliciting based on other companies patents as an illegal action. On the other hand, Nokia argues that Apple owes them money because it is taking advantage of more patents. The 32 patent lawsuit covers user interface, video-coding, and software. Nokia’s suit is retribution to Apple. But Apple is facing two opponents, Nokia and PAEs.