[March 30, 2011]

Nokia files further complaint against Apple alleging major patent infringement

(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) HELSINKI, Finland _ Nokia is suing Apple in the United States for allegedly infringing patents in “virtually all” of its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets and computers, the Finnish company said Tuesday.

The complaint, filed with United States International Trade Commission, ITC, is the latest in a string of lawsuits by Nokia and comes as the world’s largest handset maker struggles to keep up with smartphone rivals like Apple.

Nokia said the seven patents in the new complaint relate to its “pioneering innovations” that Apple allegedly is using “to create key features in its products, including in multitasking operating systems, data synchronization, positioning, call quality and the use of Bluetooth accessories.” Last week, the ITC found no violation in an earlier complaint. Nokia said it “is waiting to see the full details of the ruling before deciding on the next steps in that case.” Last year, Nokia Corp. also sued Apple Inc. in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands for allegedly infringing its patents with technology used in the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Those followed earlier lawsuits by Nokia claiming that a broad swath of Apple products violate its patents. Apple had earlier responded with its own infringement claims against Nokia.

“Our latest ITC filing means we now have 46 Nokia patents in suit against Apple, many filed more than 10 years before Apple made its first iPhone,” said Paul Melin, vice-president of intellectual property at Nokia.

“Nokia is a leading innovator in technologies needed to build great mobile products and Apple must stop building its products using Nokia’s proprietary innovation.” Nokia said that in the past two decades it has invested some C43 billion in research and development to build “one of the wireless industry’s strongest and broadest IPR portfolios,” which includes more than 10,000 patent families.

The legal disputes, which generally don’t stop products reaching markets, come amid increasing competition in the fast-growing smartphone market. Tech companies are scrambling to win over the growing number of consumers buying handsets that come with email, Web surfing, cameras, videos and scores of apps for checking the weather, updating Facebook and other tasks.

Nokia has been struggling against stiff competition, especially from the iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry.

In addition to the two ITC complaints, Nokia said it has filed cases on the same patents and others in Delaware, and has further cases proceeding in Mannheim, Dusseldorf and the Federal Patent Court in Germany, the UK High Court in London and the District Court of the Hague in the Netherlands. Some of them will come to trial in the next few months.

Nokia stock closed almost unchanged at C6.17 ($8.68) on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

Online: http://www.nokia.com (c) 2011 The Canadian Press

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