updated 08:25 am EST, Thu December 16, 2010
Nokia widens Apple suits in 3 European countries
Nokia on Thursday refused to back down in its patent dispute with Apple and sued the American company in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The Dusseldorf, The Hague and London complaints accuse Apple of violating 13 extra patents beyond the 24 already leveraged against Apple in the US. Unlike past complaints, Nokia this time was counting on the age of its patents to avoid prior art and covered basic touch interfaces, app stores, messaging and signalling technology that in some cases have existed for years.
"For example, [we have patented] using a wiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content, or enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store, both filed more than ten years before the launch of the iPhone," Nokia said.
It added that none of the patents were related to 3G or other standards that were the impetuses for the original lawsuit from over a year ago. Nokia has maintained that all phones using UMTS- or HSPA-based 3G are partly based on its technology and owe Nokia patent royalties. Apple has been one of the few to challenge the validity of the patents in court.
The European lawsuits are a direct response to Apple's UK lawsuit and an attempt to have Apple back down and reach a settlement rather than go through the cost of a trial. Both have also tried to speed up the process by filing complaints with the US International Trade Commission that could more quickly determine the validity of some patents and push one side or both into an out-of-court deal.