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Nokia v. Apple and Patent Protectionism

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See Nokia: Apple iPhone Violates Our Patents: A few choice excerpts:

In a statement, “Nokia said Apple has refused to pay for use of intellectual property developed by Nokia that lets handsets connect to third-generation, or 3G, wireless networks, as well as to wireless local area networks. “Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation,” Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia vice-president for legal and intellectual property, said in the statement.

This implies apple copied their patented inventions. but copying need not be shown for infringement, and you can bet they will not rely on this in pressing their case. They are trying to have it both ways: to darkly hint Apple copied them, while being happy to persecute Apple for non-copying acts that still infringe their patents.

The Finnish handset giant said Oct. 22 it has filed suit against Apple … in U.S. District Court in Delaware, accusing its California-based rival of infringing patents for core technology that allows the iPhone to make calls and connect to the mobile Internet. Although Nokia … has sued rivals such as Qualcomm … over patents in the past, the latest lawsuit came as a surprise–and represents an escalation of increasingly contentious competition with Apple.

So … the filing of the lawsuit is how they are engaging in “increasingly contentious competition.” How much more clear could it be that these patents are nothing but anti-competitive devices used for protectionism?! It’s obvious to everyone.

The loss of smartphone share is doubly frustrating to Nokia because it sold phones with computer-like features years before Apple. During the last two years Nokia has launched a series of handsets with iPhone-like touchscreen interfaces, but none has generated quite the same buzz as Apple’s devices….

So they are losing out in competition, so using legal weapons instead.

Apple, like all mobile-phone makers, relies on such standards to make its devices compatible with carrier networks. Nokia says it has contributed its intellectual property to global standards bodies, but demands to be compensated for the use of its patents in commercial products. “Apple is expected to follow this principle,” Nokia’s Rahnasto said in the company’s statement.

So, Nokia contributed to a standard with the very goal of making a standard that everyone would start using. Apple starts using it–bam, they sue them. Nokia is leveraging the monopoly the state granted them. Horrible.

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