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Apple takes Nokia battle to Europe

iPhone maker files suit in the UK, citing same patents as in US cases


Published: 30 September, 2010

READ MORE: Europe | Apple | Nokia | Patents/IPR

Apple has gone a long way in recent weeks to placate organizations that were pursuing it in the law courts, and the European Union has duly dropped antitrust actions following the vendor's relaxation of its developer and warranty policies. But some opponents are less easy to assuage, and the Apple-Nokia feud over patents and business practises is turning into the new version of the old Nokia-Qualcomm soap opera.

Apple has expanded its legal action against the Finnish giant, launching lawsuits in the UK that mirror those already in the US courts (along with various countersuits from Nokia).

Earlier this year, a US federal judge agreed to put another patent dispute between the two manufacturers on hold, pending resolutions of their claims in front of the International Trade Commission.

In the US, Apple claims that Nokia is infringing on 13 of its patents while Nokia says its rival infringes seven of its patents in a wide range of products from the iPhone to the iMac. Apple has cited nine of its patents in the European case, in a move that is seen as taking the battle to Nokia's home turf.

Nokia spokesperson Mark Durrant told Bloomberg: "This is an unsurprising development, which seems designed to put pressure on the ongoing dialog between both companies."

The spat started in October 2009 when Nokia alleged in a US court that Apple had violated patents that were "fundamental" to the creation of GSM, W-CDMA and Wi-Fi devices. Apple countersued in December 2009, accusing its rival of anti-competitive practices and patent infringement. In January 2010, Nokia upped the ante, making a complaint to the ITC that Apple infringed its patents in "virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players and computers". Apple responded by calling on the ITC to bar the import of Nokia products into the US on the basis of IPR violations. None of the US or UK cases are likely to be heard until late 2011 or 2012.

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