updated 11:20 am EST, Tue December 29, 2009
Nokia adds iPod, Macs to patent claims
Nokia on Tuesday escalated its legal war against Apple with a complaint to the US International Trade Commission. The argument claims not only that the iPhone infringes patents but that "virtually all" products Apple makes, including iPods and Macs, are guilty of violating 7 Nokia patents. Nokia's allegations touch on both hardware-related patents for antennas, cameras and power management as well as user interfaces.
"Nokia has been the leading developer of many key technologies in small electronic devices," Patent Licensing General Manager Paul Melin claims. "This action is about protecting the results of such pioneering development. While our litigation in Delaware is about Apple's attempt to free-ride on the back of Nokia investment in wireless standards, the ITC case filed today is about Apple's practice of building its business on Nokia's proprietary innovation."
The company didn't outline its goals with the patent dispute, though most such ITC complaints are meant to seek import bans that would prevent a company from selling products affected by the dispute.
Nokia's move follows just after an Apple countersuit which claims the Finnish phone maker copied the iPhone when it couldn't compete properly on its own. Critics have charged Nokia with "competition by lawsuit," or attempting to compete by either damaging a rival's profit margins or blocking its sales rather than creating a better product.
Apple has been contacted for comment but hasn't had an opportunity to respond as of press time.