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Nokia Claims Patent Violations in Most Apple Products 419

Posted by timothy
from the mickey-finn-or-mickey-mouse? dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an extract from this Associated Press story, as carried by The Globe and Mail: "Nokia is broadening its legal fight with Apple, saying almost all of the company's products violate its patents, not just the iPhone. Nokia Corp. said Tuesday that it has filed a complaint against Apple Inc. with the US International Trade Commission. The Finnish phone maker says Apple's iPhone, iPods and computers all violate its intellectual property rights."
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Nokia Claims Patent Violations in Most Apple Products

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  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:31PM (#30587764) Journal

    These appear to be patents against actual physical technologies, so it ain't the same thing as software patents. But please, do continue to show what a fucking retard you are.

  • by Penguuu (263703) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:37PM (#30587860)

    They have actually already countersuited Nokia for earlier patent disputes: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357039,00.asp [pcmag.com]

  • Software patents (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:41PM (#30587932)

    One of the patents that Apple is countersuing on is this one:
    No. 6,239,795 B1: Pattern and color abstraction in a graphical user interface

    Sounds to me like rabid software patenting.

    Source- http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2009/12/apple_nokia_sto.html

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:47PM (#30588002)

    You are aware that Nokia has been around since the 19th century and have a much larger patent portfolio than Apple, right? Nokia's amount of R&D dwarfs the amount Apple does.

  • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:47PM (#30588008) Homepage

    The two are not necessarily exclusive. If you hate patents, having the big patent supporters beat each other to death with them is a decent step to getting rid of them. The best possible outcome would be a multiple hundred billion volley of lawsuits between all of the biggies until they bring each other to their knees. If they die, we win. If they wise up and back away from supporting patents, we win. If they clog the courts so full that they can't function, we win. Triple bonus points if they all decide the real problem is the USPTO and they sue it to death.

    New meme, trademark confusion. Be sure to prominently mix and match trademarks when talking to various companies. Perhaps we can get a corporate world war started :-)

  • by EvilNTUser (573674) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:57PM (#30588130)

    Judging by market share, Nokia is number one with Symbian. Judging by operating system technology, Nokia is number one with Maemo. Who exactly do they need to catch up with and how?

  • by Catiline (186878) <akrumbach@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:05PM (#30588224) Homepage Journal

    Why is it ok to patent something physical, but not ok to patent software? I have never understood the distinction.

    Well, at least in the USA, if the "thing" being patented is something a human being could do (with an extreme surplus of time and infinite paper and pencils) then it is an abstract idea and explicitly excluded from protection. This is why, for instance, you can't patent raw mathematics like calculus.

    And specifically, because computers see all software as "raw mathematics" at the hardware level, software should be excluded from patenst. [Or put another way: human beings are a 1 centi-hertz CPU, and US legal precedent excludes any activity they perform unaided from patenting.]

  • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:34PM (#30588560)

    Okay. How about that: Nokia made their first cell phone in 1982. Ten years later they made the world's first GSM phone.

  • by GasparGMSwordsman (753396) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:34PM (#30588562)
    I correct myself. The following is a list of patents Nokia claims Apple infringed upon:

    * No. 5, 634, 074 : Serial I/O device identifies itself to a computer through a serial interface during power on reset then it is being configured by the computer
    * No. 6, 343, 263 B1 : Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data
    * No. 5,915,131 : Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O services
    * No. 5,555,369: Method of creating packages for a pointer-based computer system
    * No. 6,239,795 B1: Pattern and color abstraction in a graphical user interface
    * No. 5,315,703: Object-oriented notification framework system
    * No. 6,189,034 B1: Method and apparatus for dynamic launching of a teleconferencing application upon receipt of a call
    * No. 7,469,381, B2: List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display
    * No.RE 39, 486 E: Extensible, replaceable network component system
    * No. 5,455,854: Object-oriented telephony system
    * No. 7,383,453 B2: Conserving power by reducing voltage supplied to an instruction-processing portion of a processor
    * No. 5,848,105: GMSK signal processors for improved communications capacity and quality
    * No. 5, 379,431: Boot framework architecture for dynamic staged initial program load
  • by googlesmith123 (1546733) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @08:06PM (#30588882)
    I thought those were the patents that Apple held. So these are the ones Apple is claiming Nokia infrienged. Source: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/12/11/apple_files_countersuit_against_nokia.html [appleinsider.com]
  • by dangitman (862676) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @08:10PM (#30588926)

    The question is, is Apple's patent portfolio that usable against Nokia really enforceable? Nokia's clearly is hence why every other manufacturer has been licensing them without hassle.

    This argument makes no sense. The fact that others are licensing Nokia's patents is not proof that Nokia's patents are valid or enforceable. Invalid and unenforceable patents get licensed all the time, just to save legal hassles, or because of ignorance. Try using logic next time.

  • by McGiraf (196030) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @08:17PM (#30589008) Homepage

    No, copyrights will not prevent you of implementing similar thing from scratch, patents can prevent you from doing anything similar.

    Software patents are more like patenting the idea of a mouse trap rather than a specific apparatus for trapping mouses.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @08:20PM (#30589032) Homepage

    Nokia wanted to charge Apple 3x times more only after Apple refused cross-licensing. And cross-licensing is what surely any other notable phone tech manufacturer does with Nokia.

    Seems Apple is just convinced it should be the only one getting better treatment than "fair/reasonable and non-discriminatory" (as agreed by this industry). I say send the spoiled kid to his room first.

  • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @08:23PM (#30589056)

    I never said they were, and that point is pretty much irrelevant to the patent war going on between the two.

    However, since you brought it up, Nokia has a little over 40% of the worldwide smartphone market, RIM has not quite 20%, and Apple has a little over 10% of the market. Nokia has been losing ground in smartphones, but they are still the behemoth, and Apple in particular hasn't been hurting them nearly as bad as RIM has (19.5% up from 10.9% last year).

    The smartphone accounts for about 12% (and slowly rising) of the overall cell phone market, of which Nokia has been and continues to dominate.

    My point was that Nokia is the big boy in this fight, not Apple, and it's true no matter what statistics you may wish to cherry-pick.

  • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @09:38PM (#30589554)

    The iPod line is one of the most expensive music players on the market, have you actually looked? Its big selling points are the easy interface and iTunes, definitely not price. Go to walmart and have a looksee for yourself. You'll find a half dozen players for much cheaper than the equivalent iPod.

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @10:05PM (#30589722) Homepage

    Yes, the patents for GSM are offered under RAND terms. i.e., a nominal (but not trivial) amount of money.

    The lawsuit comes from the fact that Apple decided it was special and, unlikely everybody else, didn't have to pay.

  • by vakuona (788200) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @10:12PM (#30589778)
    It can multitask. It does that very well. Apple doesn't allow other apps to multitask, and purposely didn't create a way for other apps to because it saves battery, and it prevents apps from taking over the phone.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @11:21PM (#30590188)

    Are you apple apologists just lazy when it comes to verifying anything "not-apple"? Or do you not do a simple google search because you're scared that apple is in the wrong?

    Yes, Nokia does indeed have a patent on the internal antenna [patentstorm.us]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @11:28PM (#30590226)

    It's the latter. Nokia submitted multiple patents that make up the GSM protocol, The GSM Association gets the rights to re-license the GSM package to any and all who would like to implement it. Fees are charged and the Association splits it up among the patent owners. Nokia was ok with this as long as no one else was making more money on their technology than they were. Now they want to charge Apple more for their portions of the GSM protocol.

    Apple's claim is if Nokia wants to do this for their patents then it will do the same for theirs. Like any device that read or write mpeg4 (which uses multiple Apple patents)

    Solution! The Associations involved should step in and tell both companies to shut up and go home.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @04:03AM (#30591322)

    Apple has a market cap of 188B, 4 times that of Nokia, a P/E ratio about half that of Nokia, greater sales, profit--you pick a financial parameter, AAPL has substantially better numbers than Nokia. So, wtf is your point again?

    Apple's market cap is not their actual assets nor capital, market capitalisation is how much the market perceives a company is worth based on it's stock price. Market Cap is built upon the almighty Imaginary Dollar (!$) which is responsible for the current economic crisis. The Imaginary Dollars come from Apple's stock price if they start borrowing based on the amount of money they potentially have rather then the amount of money they actually have the same thing that happened to the US economy will happen to Apple.

    Nokia has buildings, fabrication plants, subsidiaries, real assets. Apple has Stock. So Nokia has more actual assets to back up their fight with. Market Capitalisation is entirely based on share price so this has little bearing on their actual ability to raise capital, I.E. market cap is not very good collateral against a loan where as actual assets are.

    In addition to this, Nokia already has the experience and expertise.

    Market cap doe not mean anything (as a point of trivia, Nokia's market capitalisation accounts for 1/3 of the Helsinki Stock exchange) but lets look at revenue shall we.
    Nokia: E50.72 Bn (US$72.6)
    Apple: US$32.48 Bn

    Net Income
    Nokia: E3.98 Bn (US$5.71)
    Apple: US$4.83 Bn

    Total Assets
    Nokia: E39.58 Bn (US$56.77)
    Apple: US$39.57 Bn

    Total Equity
    Nokia: E16.51 Bn (US$23.68)
    Apple: US$21.03

    So Nokia has a significant advantage in all by equity (which controls the amount they can borrow on its debts for existing assets) where Nokia only has a slight advantage. Nokia can borrow a lot more then Apple seeing as it can back up its debts with real assets rather then IP (which isn't worth anything as collateral).

  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @10:17AM (#30592872)

    Infineon almost certainly does have a license, but that license won't cover Apple, only infineon's ability to produce the chips and sell them. The license has to be owned by whoever is making use of the patented technology, not just the company that initially makes use of it. It's not like transferable software licenses in this respect.

  • by Weezul (52464) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @10:23AM (#30592966)

    Nokia offered Apple a cross licensing deal beneficial to both companies. Apple refused, indicating their intent to use their interface patents against other mobile phone makers.

    I've no idea what FRAND obligations Nokia faces under their original GSM Association membership, but Apple cannot pursue those obligations in court, as Apple is not the GSM Association.

    Would some GSM Association member pursue those obligations in court on Apple's behalf? Doubtful, given Apple's indications that they'll sue other mobile makers once the GSM patents are off the table.

    Apple's best option is simply agreeing to Nokia's original cross licensing deal.

    p.s. It's very likely that Nokia merely asked for the cross licensing scheme built into the FRAND obligations of GSM Association membership, meaning even if Apple paid another GSM Association member to sue Nokia, they might still lose.

  • by tigga (559880) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:27PM (#30595054)
    There are reasons Apple market capitalization is higher, for example those numbers -

    Here from finance.yahoo.com :

    AAPL

    Profit Margin (ttm): 15.61%

    NOK

    Profit Margin (ttm): 1.25%

    AAPL

    Return on Assets (ttm): 10.25%

    NOK

    Return on Assets (ttm): 4.12%

    AAPL

    Return on Equity (ttm): 23.35%

    NOK

    Return on Equity (ttm): 4.04%

    AAPL

    Qtrly Revenue Growth (yoy): 25.00%

    NOK

    Qtrly Revenue Growth (yoy): -19.80%

    Apple is fast growing company in crisis, Nokia, on the other hand is not growing (blame on crisis?). Pick your numbers ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:04PM (#30595818)

    >>Nokia can borrow a lot more then Apple seeing as it can back up its debts with real assets rather then IP (which isn't worth anything as collateral).

    "Real" assets? The 19th century called and they want their economic model back. You most certainly can raise money against IP. Doesn't this whole topic revolve around the strength of the respective IP portfolios of Nokia and Apple?

    >>Market Cap is built upon the almighty Imaginary Dollar (!$)

    Whoa, strong argument there. Here's a clue, there is no such thing as intrinsic value--all value is market value. The value of your Euros, gold, zloty, or wampum, assuming you have any, is just as "Imaginary".

    >>In addition to this, Nokia already has the experience and expertise.

    What does this even mean?

    Let's look at your original arguments, shall we.

    >>Apple are not known for winning a lot of law suits

    Citation? Compared to Nokia? And since each case is specific to the facts, how is this even relevant?

    >>Nokia has expert legal teams in every major western nation

    As does every single international corporation, including Apple, whether inhouse or outside counsel. Relevance?

    >>more capital and more liquid assets

    Not significantly more than Apple, even by your 2008 numbers. And, do you think that either company, let alone their shareholders, will really allow a significant fraction of their assets to be spent on such a fight? Well, apparently you do. Maybe it will come down to who can borrow the most after their tens of billions in cash are depleted.

    >>Nokia is significantly bigger and richer then apple, roughly by about 4 times. ...Apple may be able to swing a log but Nokia can drop an entire forest.

    The numbers you provided are roughly equivalent, in any case none being anywhere near 4 times greater for Nokia than Apple.

    In fact, the only number I can find where Nokia is about 4 times greater than Apple is in number of employees (123,347 vs 34,300). Are you suggesting that in a battle between international companies over IP, headcount is a significant factor? Will Nokia be employing the "footman rush"? http://classic.battle.net/war2/water/plan.shtml [battle.net]

    >>So if no one is clearly right, he with the most money and lawyers wins

    I forwarded your detailed analysis to Apple's legal team who are now crying in their mums' skirts. The tyrant Jobs will issue a public surrender forthwith. Also, grateful king Nokia will be issuing you lands in the north and estates in the south.

  • Tlbhtlbhltt (Score:3, Informative)

    by garote (682822) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @07:03PM (#30600666) Homepage

    Well, there you go. As you say, you have no idea what FRAND obligations Nokia faces. So I will describe them to you.

    In 2008, Nokia demanded that, as part of it’s compensation for licensing Nokia’s portfolio of purported essential patents, Apple must grant Nokia a license to a particular number of Apple non-standards-essential patents. That demand is prima-facie discriminatory. Nokia is not allowed to troll through the entire portfolio of a company when assembling the terms of a license. That behavior is practically the opposite of what the GSM Association was assembled to do.

    Then in 2009, Nokia actually worsened their terms, by demanding a royalty three times greater than any other they'd offered in the past.

    Your ignorance invalidates the rest of your "argument", including your bizarre condition that only the GSM Association itself can file a patent lawsuit against its members.

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