Nokia has filed several lawsuits against Apple in Germany and the United States, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing on Nokia patents.
Nokia’s lawsuit comes from a disagreement between Apple and Nokia over licensing fees for Nokia technology. In return, Apple has filed an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities that it claims are attempting to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents through lawsuits and royalty demands. According to Apple, Nokia’s failing cellphone business has prompted Nokia to transfer patents to patent assertion entities to get out of FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) licensing deals it established for essential patents, allowing the company to collect higher royalties.
Nokia’s own patent infringement complaint against Apple claims that Apple has declined to establish licensing deals for Nokia technology that is used in Apple products.
Nokia has filed lawsuits which cover more than 32 patents that cover technologies including display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding. Nokia says additional actions are to come.
The legal action by Nokia and Apple appear to mark a revival of the “smartphone patent wars” that began five years ago, when Apple filed a series of patent infringement cases against Samsung Electronics around the world, with wins and losses on both sides.
Nokia, once the world’s dominant cellphone maker, missed out on the transition to smartphones triggered by Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007. The Finnish company sold its handset business to Microsoft Corp. two years ago, leaving it with its telecom network equipment business and a bulging portfolio of mobile equipment patents.
But this year, Microsoft sold its Nokia-feature phone business to a new company called HMD Global. Nokia agreed to a 10-year licensing deal with HMD, which continues to market low-cost Nokia phones and plans to introduce new Nokia smartphone models next year.