As the market for smartphones heats up, so too are the phone patent wars. I suspect that, in the long run, the only outfits that really benefit from this will be the law firms, but it should be fun to watch.
Nokia and Apple are busy suing each other. Nokia sued Apple in October and then in December filed a complaint against Apple with the United States International Trade Commission. Now Apple has returned the favor:
Apple filed the new ITC complaint on Friday. Nokia is taking the usual “wait-and-see” attitude.
“Nokia will study the complaint when it is received and continue to defend itself vigorously,” said a company spokesman.
“However, this does not alter the fact that Apple has failed to agree appropriate terms for using Nokia technology and has been seeking a free ride on Nokia’s innovation since it shipped the first iPhone in 2007,” he said.
In late December Nokia also filed a claim with the ITC, alleging Apple infringed seven of its patents in “virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers” sold.
Eastman Kodak Co. is trying to ban the U.S. imports of Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry phones and Apple Inc.’s iPhone after the companies refused to pay patent royalties on digital camera technology.
Kodak filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington and federal court in Rochester, New York. The ITC case claims Apple and RIM are infringing a patent related to ways to preview images, while the civil suit, only against Apple, concerns that patent and additional ones for digital cameras and computer processes. Kodak and RIM already have pending litigation in Texas.
On a personal note, I spent most of the past week-and-a-half working on my move. I’m resident at my new address, but I still have stuff to take care of at my old one.