Nokia Sues Apple Over Patents, Alleging 'Free Ride' for iPhone


Nokia has filed suit against Apple, alleging that Apple's iPhone infringes on patents Nokia holds for certain phone technologies. According to Nokia, Apple has enjoyed a "free ride" on the use of those technologies in Apple's iPhone -- at Nokia's expense.

Nokia filed the complaint Thursday in Federal District Court in Delaware. According to a press release from Nokia confirming the lawsuit, Nokia is taking aim at how Apple's iPhone allegedly infringes Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN standards.

There are 10 total patents named in the suit and they cover speech coding, wireless data movement, security and encryption technologies in which Nokia said it invested about $60 billion (40 billion Euros) to research and develop. Nokia said that Apple has not adequately compensated Nokia for using those technologies.

"The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for," said Ilkka Rahnasto, vice president, Legal & Intellectual Property at Nokia, in a statement. "Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree to appropriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation."

Nokia did not indicate how much it would seek in damages from Apple.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Channelweb.com request for comment.

Nokia commands a 45 percent share of the worldwide cell phone market, but has seen its dominance slip in recent years as Apple's iPhone, Research In Motion's BlackBerry and other smartphone challengers eat into its customer base. Nokia is among the vendors that are primed to deliver a number of new smartphones and cell phones this fall. (Click here for a look at 25 hot handhelds for the holiday shopping season.)

Nokia in 2008 settled a long-running patent dispute with Qualcomm. The details of that settlement were undisclosed, but in February 2009 the two companies said they had reached an agreement for future development of mobile devices.