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The Tech World Feels the 'Patent Jerk' as Nokia Sues Apple

New Delhi, Fri, 23 Dec 2016 NI Wire

Nokia has retaliated in what looks like a 'Patent War' against the Apple on Wednesday when it sued the American Software giant for infringement of patent rights. Nokia has filed lawsuits in Mannheim, Munich and Dusseldorf in Germany and US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The Finnish company in its statement said, "Since agreeing 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".

The multinational from Finland claims that Apple has attempted transgression of 32 patent rights that include rights related to display, user interface, antenna, video coding, software, chipsets and other features.

The move has come after the makers of the iPhone initiated legal proceedings against two patent licensors viz. Conversant Intellectual Property Management and Acacia Research Corp accusing them of being in cahoots with Nokia for extortion of revenue from the plaintiff by unfairly taxing the innovations related to its cell phones.

Josh Rosenstock, explaining the matter on behalf of Apple, said, "We've always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products". The Apple spokesman further stated, "Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair 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 own inventions they had nothing to do with".

The defendants - Conversant, Acacia, as well as Nokia have not made any comments yet on this collusion allegation made against them.

What raises eyebrows is that the legal action taken by Apple happened only a day after Boris Teksler was appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Ottawa-based licensor Conversant. It is to be reported that Boris had worked as the Director of Patent Licensing and Strategy with Apple during 2009-2013. This means the latter half of his tenure collided with the infamous 'Smartphone Patent War' between Apple and Samsung that started five years back.

Conversant, which reportedly possesses thousands of patents, last week announced that they had been awarded $7.3 million damage claim in the case of two Smartphone patents' infringement against Apple by Silicon Valley Jury.

Similarly, the other accused party Acacia had reported its victory over the US-based leading software firm, in the matter of breach of the patent rights of one of its subsidiaries. The publicly-traded licensing firm based in California claimed that the subsidiary has been awarded $22 million as settlement by a Texas Jury in the said case.

The lawsuits filed by both the corporate houses seem to be the resurrection point of the war that was waged in 2011 when Samsung Electronics Co. was sued by Apple over the violation of patent rights in terms of copying designs of iPhone and iPad. In the same year the Korean electronics company countersued the Apple, blaming the latter of contravention of patents related to the former's mobile technology. The verdicts which came out awarded wins and losses to both the sides and didn't allow a clean sweep victory to either side.


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