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Apple, Nokia again sue each other over patents

By Ians

New York, Dec 22: Five years after Apple and Nokia settled a lawsuit, the tech giants have again locked horns over patents with Apple filing an anti-trust lawsuit against third-party companies Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) that act on Nokia's behalf, and the Finland-based firm suing Apple directly.

Nokia on Wednesday filed a suit directly against Apple in Europe and the US, claiming the company is still infringing on Nokia patents. The lawsuit covers 32 patents, including display, user interface, software and video-coding technology.

APle, Nokia sue each other

Nokia said that since settling that initial case, Apple has "declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other [parts] of its patented inventions, which are used by many Apple products."

In its lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Apple argued that Nokia already has agreements to license its patents for fair and reasonable terms, also know as "FRAND". "But Nokia is transferring these patents to PAEs in order to aggressively pursue money," a report in The Verge said on Thursday.

Apple said that this should not be allowed because it is "anticompetitive and abusive" to the Cupertino-based company and other technology firms. Apple is behind the PAEs that Nokia has partnered with to pursue additional patent money.

Also read: Apple rumoured to launch 'red' iPhone next year

According to Apple, these companies, which include Acacia Research and Conversant Property Management, are "conspiring with Nokia in a scheme to diffuse and abuse and, as the PAEs and Nokia fully intended, monetise those false promises by extracting exorbitant non-FRAND royalties in way Nokia could not."

"PAEs have reportedly sued Apple at least 12 times based off former Nokia patents. Acacia has sued Apple more than 40 times based off patents from Nokia and other companies," the report said.

In 2011, the two companies settled a patent fight with Apple over smartphone technology through a licensing agreement that committed Apple to make a one-time payment to the company and to pay regular royalties in the future, the New York Times reported.

The companies also agreed to withdraw complaints against each other with the International Trade Commission over the use of intellectual property.


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