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Nokia, Apple File Dueling Patent Lawsuits

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Dec 21, 2016, 1:55 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

Nokia and Apple have this week filed patent-related lawsuits against one another in various jurisdictions. Nokia's claims, filed in Germany and the U.S., say that Apple is using Nokia's patented technology without permission. The companies have been negotiating licensing fees for Nokia's patents for several years and can't agree on pricing. "Since agreeing [to] a license covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple's products," said Nokia. The lawsuit is meant to force Apple to agree to Nokia's terms. On the flip side, Apple is accusing Nokia of antitrust behavior. It claims Nokia divested a number of its standard essential patents to patent-licensing firms (in this case, Acacia and Conversant) in order to circumvent fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory pricing principles that apply to such patents. "With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia's strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators," said Apple in its complaint. Apple's lawsuit was first reported by PatentlyApple.


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Dec 22, 2016, 11:36 PM

Nokia as the last tiny barrier to Apple hegemony

There isn't a lot that Nokia can do to Apple, even if they win this. Monetary damages on the order that they could get would do little to deter Apple. On the other hand, if Apple wins its anti-trust case against Nokia, that would set a huge precedent - breaking up Nokia and making their patents much cheaper to license, or unnecessary to license, would remove the last obstacle that any mobile phone company could possibly have to making their phones as cheaply as possible, and since Apple brings in 90+% of all profits in the industry, they would stand to gain the most. The fact that Apple brings in 90+% of the profits in the entire industry globally also makes them the undisputed hegemon, free and clear, if they can get the Nokia patents ou...
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