updated 10:25 am EST, Fri December 11, 2009
Apple claims Nokia stealing tech
(Updated with details inside the suit) Apple today responded to Nokia's lawsuit by filing a countersuit of its own. The new complaint accuses Nokia of violating 13 Apple-held patents. Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell also alleges that Nokia is exploiting work on products like the iPhone to maintain its status in the industry.
"Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours," he says.
Update: Within the suit, Apple attacks Nokia's business decisions as a whole, claiming that Nokia chose to copy the iPhone when it became clear its traditional number pad and QWERTY slider designs weren't enough to prevent it from losing market share. Apple specifically points to an August 2007 event where Nokia showed a very iPhone-like interface and declared that it would "copy with pride" when it saw a good idea.
"True to this quote, Nokia has demonstrated its willingness to copy Apple’s iPhone ideas as well as Apple’s basic computing technologies, all while demanding Apple pay for access to Nokia’s purported standards essential patent," Apple says, referring to Nokia's claimed ownership of technologies relating to UMTS and HSPA-based 3G. "Apple seeks redress for this behavior."
The complaint equally alleges that Nokia had insisted on a cross-licensing deal for iPhone patents to settle its lawsuit out of court, effectively handing one of Apple's competitive advantages to its largest rival.
When it introduced the iPhone, Apple touted over 200 patents and that it 'intends to protect' them. It has so far left Palm alone despite its phones using multi-touch support, but it's believed Palm has patents of its own that clear a path for iPhone-like technology.
Countersuits are common tactics in patent disputes, as they often push the original lawsuit filer to reach a settlement instead of carrying through a complete trial and risking either losing its case or else seeing its gains nullified by a win for the other party.