Apple files countersuit against Nokia

Counterclaims involving the iPhone could push smartphone rivals Apple and Nokia into a cross-licensing deal.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 11, 2009 3:07PM

TheStreetBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Apple (AAPL) has filed a countersuit against Nokia (NOK) over patent infringement claims involving the iPhone.

 

Apple's legal response comes less than two months after Nokia accused Apple of stealing its wireless technology to use in its iPhone.

 

Apple says Nokia's patent claims are invalid and that the Finnish firm stole some of its iPhone technology, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in a Delaware U.S. District Court.

Apple says Nokia is attempting to "leverage patents" to get a "free ride on the commercial success" of the iPhone and avoid "liability for copying the iPhone and infringing on Apple's patents."

 

The legal battle highlights the tension between Apple's damaging invasion of Nokia's share of the smartphone market, and Nokia's subsequent attempt to create a compelling alternative to the iPhone.

 

Among the innovations that have made the iPhone so successful is its screen, which allows users to control the phone with finger gestures. Apple's touch technology enables users to zoom out or in on the screen by spreading or pinching fingers together.

 

In October, UBS analyst Maynard Um predicted two likely outcomes of the battle. Apple might agree to pay Nokia a licensing fee of 1%, or about $6 per iPhone or, in a more likely scenario, Nokia and Apple might find common ground through some a cross-licensing agreement. Apple could gain rights to Nokia's wireless technology and Nokia would get to put Apple's touch features on its phones.

 

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