Apple sues Nokia over phone patents, responding to Nokia suit against iPhone

Friday, December 11, 2009

Apple countersues Nokia over phone patents

NEW YORK — Apple Inc. is suing cell phone maker Nokia Corp. for patent infringement, a countermove to Nokia’s earlier suit against technologies used in Apple’s iPhone.

Apple’s lawsuit claims Nokia is infringing on 13 of Apple’s patents, and says the Finland-based company chose to “copy the iPhone,” especially its user interface, to make up for its declining share of the high-end phone market.

Nokia’s lawsuit, filed in October, claims that Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple infringes on 10 of its patents covering both phone calls and Wi-Fi access.

The patents Apple alleges Nokia is infringing deal with, among other things: connecting a phone to a computer, teleconferencing, menus on a touch screen, power conservation in chips, and “pattern and color abstraction in a graphical user interface.” The company also denies Nokia’s claims of patent infringement.

In a statement, Nokia said it will review the claims and respond “in due course.”

Apple said Nokia fell behind in the smart phone market because it chose to focus on old-fashioned cell phones with conventional user interfaces at a time when “smart” phones were growing increasingly popular.

Countersuits are a staple of patent litigation, which often ends in cross-licensing agreements. Nokia said in October that 40 phone manufacturers — but not Apple — have licensed the patents in its lawsuit.

Both suits were filed in federal court in Delaware.

U.S.-traded shares of Nokia rose 25 cents, or 2 percent, to close at $12.81, and Apple’s shares fell $1.76, to $194.67.

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