Battle In Court- Apple vs. Nokia
Apple and Nokia are again engaged in a battle, yet this is not about competing in the mobile phone market but in the legal court. Apple fought back with Nokia’s legal complaints by suing Nokia of infringement on its patents. Hence, both mobile phone manufacturers are now accusing each other with a similar case. If you would remember, Nokia was the first one who filed an infringement complaint requesting the International Trade Commission to ban imports of Apple mobile phones and now Apple answered back by filing the same complaint.
Surprisingly, the two largest mobile phone manufacturers are like novices playing a chess game where one is only imitating the move of his opponent, just to say that he can fight back. Apple’s strategy of following Nokia every step is not a good move.
The legal battle started when Nokia filed a complaint claiming that Apple breached a total of ten patents found in iPhone smart mobile phone. According to Nokia, it took them over two decades and about $90 million to develop the patented technologies. Nokia also presented the names of forty companies who pay them to avail the technologies, to prove that they are the one who have exclusive rights.
Apple countered Nokia’s claim by filing the same infringement case which applies to thirteen distinct patents found in several mobile devices. The response of Apple is of course a legal action, although it may suggest that the company just want to resolve the issue with a settlement.
On the contrary, Nokia does not want to negotiate and the company believed that filing legal actions with ITC is needed. The case was not only about iPhone technology but also applies with Mac computers and iPods.
And because Nokia disagreed with the settlement process Apple offered, the latter decided to react by filing a counter case with ITC.
It seems that Nokia and Apple prepared themselves before doing actions but if ITC grants both parties and investigates the complaints, there will surely be ramifications in both ends. It is now up to the International Trade Commission to finish this battle, although decisions are yet to come. It takes years to resolve such cases and this case will probably take two years at the earliest to finish.
However, Nokia or Apple may still change their minds and invalidate their complaints. Both companies should remember that their technologies must meet patent requirements in order to have exclusive rights. It should be distinct and impossible to duplicate.
An interparty re-examination which takes up to seven years is executed to have patents or exclusive rights to a product or technology. Perhaps, the issue will be resolved in another way other than filing lawsuits. Therefore, having an agreement that will benefit both parties is more sensible than waiting for the case to be resolved.