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12/30/2009
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Nokia: Most Apple Products Violate Patents

An International Trade Association complaint claims all of Apple's iPhones, iPods, and Macs infringe Nokia patents.

Nokia has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming that all of Apple's iPhones, iPods, and Macs infringe on the Finnish phonemaker's patents.

Nokia, which filed its complaint Tuesday, accuses Apple of using patented technology to create key product features in the area of user interface, as well as camera, antenna, and power management. The complaint lists seven Nokia patents allegedly infringed by Apple in "virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers."

Apple did not respond to a request for comment in time for this writing.

The latest complaint is part of an ongoing legal battle between the two companies. The legal tit for tat started in October when Nokia filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Delaware, claiming Apple infringed on 10 of its patents. Apple countersued in December in the same Delaware court, claiming Nokia infringed on 13 of its patents.

In the ITC complaint, Nokia said the patented technologies allegedly used by Apple are important to Nokia's success because they provide a better user experience, lower manufacturing costs, smaller size, and longer battery life for Nokia products.

"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," Paul Melin, general manager for patent licensing at Nokia, said in a statement.

In Nokia's original suit, the company said the patents at issue involved GSM, UMTS (3G WCDMA), and wireless LAN standards. Nokia noted that it has licensing agreements with about 40 companies that include the patents cited in the Apple litigation.

Apple, on the other hand, claims in its lawsuit that Nokia has infringed on patents governing real-time signal processing, teleconferencing, display graphics, power conservation, and other areas related to smartphones. Apple named Nokia's high-end smartphone, the E71, as one of the products that allegedly infringe its patents, as well as all Nokia devices that have a built-in camera and those that use the S60 or Symbian platforms.

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