updated 10:40 am EST, Sat January 16, 2010
Apple counters Nokia's trade ban move
Apple on Friday retaliated against Nokia's trade ban request by filing its own complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC). The iPhone inventor seeks to block imports of Nokia's phones to the US under the claim that they infringe Apple patents. Full details weren't available for the request, which the ITC will need to approve before it launches an investigation.
Nokia insists it will "defend itself vigorously" against the complaint and reiterated its opinion that Apple is trying to benefit from Nokia-developed wireless technology, including aspects of 3G. A number of companies already have licenses from Nokia, but few have challenged the validity of the patents behind the techniques.
"This does not alter the fact that Apple has failed to agree appropriate terms for using Nokia technology and has been seeking a free ride on Nokia's innovation since it shipped the first iPhone in 2007," a spokesman alleges.
The gesture once again draws Apple even with Nokia. The latter's ITC complaint in December would, if won, entirely ban sales of most if not all iPhones, iPods and Macs. Nokia's call for a trade ban in turn was a response to Apple countersuing Nokia; the response accused Nokia of suing only because it couldn't fairly compete in the smartphone space and that it was trying to profiteer from another's success.
Critics have noted that purchasing trends have partly supported Apple's view, as Nokia has been steadily losing market share since the iPhone became available internationally, especially in its usual stronghold of Europe.