Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Jan 2010 23:38 UTC, submitted by OSGuy
Legal Just when you thought the legal battle between Nokia and Apple couldn't get any more convoluted, Apple has filed its own complaint with the US International Trade Commission, seeking to have Nokia's products banned from the US market because they infringe on Apple's patents.
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Bound to happen
by -oblio- on Sun 17th Jan 2010 23:53 UTC
-oblio-
Member since:
2008-05-27

I know this will sound very rude - but honestly, this was bound to happen. Apple went into Nokia's turf, Nokia felt threatened => trial against Apple. Now Apple fights back. However I'm pretty sure Nokia has hard hitting patents in there, they've been doing this for more time than Apple ;)
Since Apple aren't the nicest guys around, I kind of feel glad this happened to them, maybe they'll learn some manners ;)

I wonder which company will pay more in the end.

Edited 2010-01-17 23:54 UTC

Reply Score: 8

v RE: Bound to happen
by Macrat on Mon 18th Jan 2010 00:37 UTC in reply to "Bound to happen"
RE[2]: Bound to happen
by dylansmrjones on Mon 18th Jan 2010 00:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Nokia is no patent troll. Nokia has working implementations of its patents.

A patent troll is company (or individual) that owns (a lot of) patents but nothing else, and are using the patents to sue other companies (and individuals) as soon as these patents are implemented widely (or by a major corporation).

Reply Score: 15

RE[3]: Bound to happen
by fithisux on Mon 18th Jan 2010 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bound to happen"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

A patent troll is company (or individual) that owns (a lot of) patents but nothing else, and are using the patents to sue other companies (and individuals) as soon as these patents are implemented widely (or by a major corporation).


Just like Apple. (Couldn't resist)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Bound to happen
by robojerk on Mon 18th Jan 2010 00:46 UTC in reply to "Bound to happen"
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

"
Since Apple aren't the nicest guys around,


So your not liking Apple justifies Nokia being a patent troll?
"

How is Nokia being a patent troll?

Reply Score: 11

RE: Bound to happen
by JonathanBThompson on Mon 18th Jan 2010 01:19 UTC in reply to "Bound to happen"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Here's the funny thing about the Apple/Nokia thing:

It's an uneven playing field, and it's Nokia's fault in both their assessment and their demands. Let me guess: this will make me sound like an Apple fanboy. Well, no, Steve Jobs and Apple do NOT walk on water, but Nokia is at fault in this, which very few articles fail to mention as to why Nokia has a problem with their thinking.

Does Nokia own a lot of valid patents related to cell phone stuff? Yes.

Does Apple need them and need to pay for their use? Yes.

(Here's the kicker) Is Nokia licensing them to Apple at the same reasonable and fair terms, as set out by what they've agreed to do in the past for patents that are used in the standard infrastructure? Aye, that's the rub: Nokia wants to make Apple pay more, because they're Apple, and not give them the same terms. This is the same sort of thing that happened (IIRC) with RamBus, or at least similar, in terms of licensing. Apple, sure, they're using some things that likely clearly run afoul of what Nokia is complaining about, but Nokia has refused to extend the same terms to Apple as they have to others, so Apple has done what makes sense to their shareholders and bottom line and just plain getting things done:

They've gone ahead and used such IP (or things that infringe on it) and waited for a court settlement, where they're figuring they're not likely to get nailed for an unfair amount of costs, compared to what they would have gotten if Nokia had had their way.

Now, here's the interesting thing: I honestly don't know how much Nokia would get for the licensing per item, it's probably not a huge amount, or else it wouldn't be so affordable for the tech made by other companies, which tend to have more lower-end cost products in the cell phone realm than Apple: Apple thus far seems uninterested in the low profit-margin devices, and, frankly, evidence shows they're using the most profitable strategy, as opposed to (currently) competing with the lowest common denominator pure commodity hardware. Now, the terms of what Nokia wants appears to be some combination of higher licensing fees from Apple than others are paying, along with the objective of getting cross-licensing of various patents Apple has, as Nokia currently has nothing that compares to Apple's phones in many ways: Nokia sells a hell of a lot of phones, but lots of the models are the very low-end, low-margin ones, and they'll not be able to compete as readily if they have to do something meaningfully different to compare to an iPhone, at least without licensing certain things from Apple. The thing is, precisely because Apple is so late in the game, while Nokia has lots of cell phone-related infrastructure patents that they must make available to all comers at a fair and equal licensing fee, Apple has several patents for other things that Nokia wants, but in no manner are the Apple patents things that are infrastructure requirements to implement phones, and therefore make a hill of beans of difference that they aren't international or industry standards, and they aren't, so Apple has exactly zero legal or moral or business reasons that would incline them to doing a cross-licensing deal with Nokia, or any other competitor. Thus, when all the dust settles, it seems most probable that at most, Apple will get charged a relative slap on the wrist for whatever things they're judged to have used that aren't the infrastructure/standards-related patents, and Nokia likely will get nailed for not offering fair terms, and some settlement will occur, and many lawyers will get richer, as we know the attorneys ALWAYS win (assuming they're competent!) no matter what the overall settlement is between the 2+ parties that are always involved in suits.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by FellowConspirator on Mon 18th Jan 2010 02:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
FellowConspirator Member since:
2007-12-13

Strictly speaking, what Apple has done is purchase Nokia-licensed technology from a third-party (who is licensed by Nokia to do so). Nokia feels that doing so gives Apple an unreasonable edge in their products by not dealing with Nokia directly (who wants to charge more, and restrict Apple's use of the tech).

It's like a Google buying disk arrays from EMC, and Seagate finding that the arrays have Seagate disks in them, then telling Google that they are "too big" to buy licensed product from EMC and asking them to negotiate directly at higher cost and with some stipulation about how the storage is used. Google would call their bluff too.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Bound to happen
by zima on Wed 20th Jan 2010 20:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bound to happen"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The terms of GSM tech licensing are clear here, they don't carry on from the supplier of radio module to manufacturer of handset.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by BallmerKnowsBest on Mon 18th Jan 2010 05:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Nokia currently has nothing that compares to Apple's phones


Wrong, as shown by this completely objective comparison between the iPhone and the Nokia E70:

http://tinyurl.com/yvd4ct

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Bound to happen
by Redeeman on Mon 18th Jan 2010 07:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bound to happen"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

"Nokia currently has nothing that compares to Apple's phones


Wrong, as shown by this completely objective comparison between the iPhone and the Nokia E70:

http://tinyurl.com/yvd4ct
"
not to mention the N900

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Bound to happen
by JonathanBThompson on Mon 18th Jan 2010 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bound to happen"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Hardware is just part of the equation: Apple's phones have a complete ecosystem of the AppStore and software that's easy to find, that's not written for the lowest common denominator, like most cell phone software, and is also cheaper by comparison for what it does. Even if the hardware is comparable in native functions and the software is better in some feature checkmark manner, it doesn't mean it's comparable, or not: once you have it, what can you do with it in addition to the standard functionality? Or, in other words: what are you really wanting to do with your hardware once you've got it, and what do you want to use it for besides strictly a phone? And what sort of support do you get from the company? And therein lies the major distinction with Apple's fairly unified (at least for now) platform that also encompasses the iPod Touch: a commonality of hardware and software capacity, combined with a larger ecosystem, that means people have a large enough other customers to allow software to be cheaply available, that uses the hardware to full advantage, and also has a rather long-term software update support system already in place and well-tested with a history: that's not been the common thread of previous cell phones, or smart phones, of having the same general OS being freely updated and having functionality added over time. So, to recap: hardware at time of release is just one factor in the equation, as is the software at release: the hardware may not change for that model, but is there enough of that particular hardware model to have a full, long-lasting unfragmented ecosystem to make it better over time, or, like so many other cell phones, does it end up being like most things before it, where people throw them away after 6 months for the new hotness, because there's no long-lasting added value derived after that point, because it's no longer supported much (if at all) by the seller/maker, and software is just so-so, and expensive?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Bound to happen
by earksiinni on Mon 18th Jan 2010 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bound to happen"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Hardware is just part of the equation: Apple's phones have a complete ecosystem of the AppStore and software that's easy to find, that's not written for the lowest common denominator, like most cell phone software, and is also cheaper by comparison for what it does.


The N900/new Maemo platform now has Ovi as their app store, though I haven't used it myself. If your concern is just "software", however, I'd like to see the iPhone run OpenOffice, GIMP, and Firefox the way that an N900 can ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Bound to happen
by aliquis on Mon 18th Jan 2010 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Bound to happen"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

That's the thing, noone wants to run stupid non-phone related desktop apps on ones phone. One want to run phone-centric apps.

Having debian on the phone don't make it the best phone .. Not even the best debian workstation, so who gives a shit?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Bound to happen
by mrhasbean on Mon 18th Jan 2010 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Bound to happen"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

I'd like to see the iPhone run OpenOffice, GIMP, and Firefox the way that an N900 can ;-)


And I'd like to see the N900 fit in my pocket without tearing it off my shirt, like an iPhone can...

:P

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Bound to happen
by mrhasbean on Mon 18th Jan 2010 22:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bound to happen"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

"Nokia currently has nothing that compares to Apple's phones


Wrong, as shown by this completely objective comparison between the iPhone and the Nokia E70:

http://tinyurl.com/yvd4ct
"

Wow, that "review" (and I use that word in the loosest possible way) was written by someone with a very mature objectivity...

Oh, and why is it that Nokia want access to Apple's patents (reportedly, but unverified)? Might it have something to do with the fact that although they own all these you beaut patents and have an R&D team twice the size of the whole of Apple the iPhone is slapping them silly in the smartphone market? And the only way they have of stopping the bleeding is to sue Apple's pants off rather then create and properly market something that's actually a real competitor rather than put most of their time and effort into their 2 bit POS models that continue to flood the market.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Bound to happen
by zima on Wed 20th Jan 2010 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bound to happen"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You are misinformed. Apple has less than 20% of "smarthpone" (whatever that means - why SE "feature phones" are excluded?) market, while Nokia has 50% of it. When looking at whole market of mobile phones it's less than 3% for Apple and 39% for Nokia.

It might be true that Apple _wants_ to be a major player. In which case Nokia might be simply reminding them to play by the rules.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Bound to happen
by BallmerKnowsBest on Thu 21st Jan 2010 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bound to happen"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Wow, that "review" (and I use that word in the loosest possible way) was written by someone with a very mature objectivity...


Funny, I wasn't aware that there are different types of objectivity.

But you may want to take your humor detector into the shop. It no workee.

Oh, and why is it that Nokia want access to Apple's patents (reportedly, but unverified)?


Those reportedly, unverified bastards!!!

Might it have something to do with the fact that although they own all these you beaut patents and have an R&D team twice the size of the whole of Apple the iPhone is slapping them silly in the smartphone market? And the only way they have of stopping the bleeding is to sue Apple's pants off rather then create and properly market something that's actually a real competitor rather than put most of their time and effort into their 2 bit POS models that continue to flood the market.


Someone give him a tissue to wipe the froth & spittle off his screen.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by flanque on Mon 18th Jan 2010 09:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Well, they don't have to license them. That doesn't justify stealing them.

I hope Apple sucks lemons.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by JAlexoid on Mon 18th Jan 2010 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Nokia has refused to extend the same terms

Apple was at the table empty handed and asked to have the same conditions as the established players.

The main issues boils down to:
- (conflict)relative value of Nokia's patents against Apple's patents
- (suit)the amount that has to be compensated for usage of those patents

Nokia has lots of cell phone-related infrastructure patents that they must make available to all comers at a fair and equal licensing fee

That depends, if the patents was a part of the GSM and related standard. They have a "big" load of patents that are not, in fact, part of the standards.

Apple will get charged a relative slap on the wrist

Please do read the first suit Nokia filed. It is all about setting the price for the patents. So Nokia might get "dry out of the water" on this one.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by Carewolf on Mon 18th Jan 2010 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Do you have documentation for that Nokia asked Apple for more than usual?

This is not what I have read from following the story. Apple thought the usual fees were unfair, but it was AFAIKT the usual fees they objected to, not some extra ones.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by JeffS on Mon 18th Jan 2010 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Any link showing that Nokia is asking for more from Apple than they do from other companies, regarding their patents?

Everything I've read about this affair has shown that Nokia have simply been trying to license their patents to Apple the same as they've done with everyone else, and have tried to do so behind the scenes for over two years now, and Apple have steadfastly refused to license those patents, even though they are proven to be valid.

I'm not saying you're wrong. But I'd like proof, because that changes the situation a bit. Nokia should ask for the same licensing fees from Apple as they do everyone else.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Bound to happen
by tomcat on Mon 18th Jan 2010 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bound to happen"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Any link showing that Nokia is asking for more from Apple than they do from other companies, regarding their patents?


That's a red herring. There's no law which requires Nokia to grant equivalent terms to all companies when licensing its patents; in fact, they have more incentive to demand more from Apple, because Apple is making a ton of money from the iPhone.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by tomcat on Mon 18th Jan 2010 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

First, Nokia has every right to demand different amounts from different customers who license their patents. This is not unusual. A patent is a short-term monopoly granted by the government to some entity in exchange for a longterm grant to the public domain.

Second, it's not as simple as you think. In some cases, the patents are licensed by a collection of affiliated companies (Nokia et al). This is simply a result of licensing and cross-licensing between companies, and it's a tangled web -- but it's a web that will need to get paid.

Third, Apple has shown a propensity to abuse other peoples' IP -- using Cisco's iPhone mark even though they were aware of its existence, sued over screen technology in iPhone, infringing camera patents, etc -- no different than most other tech companies. In most cases, Apple has been able to secure favorable licensing terms, but it has walked into a hornet's nest with the mobile phone-related technology.

Nokia probably can (and should) demand a per-unit royalty on each and every iPhone sold. This should be amusing to see how it unfolds.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Bound to happen
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 19th Jan 2010 00:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bound to happen"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

For all GSM standard-related patents that are required to interoperate on the phone network, Nokia MUST extend the same rates, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory to Apple, or anyone else, as a result of being in such a monopoly position for those patents: this is the crux of the matter. Nokia had to enter an agreement at the time they were made part of the standard to do so, but (there are articles on roughlydrafted.com, admittedly a site run by an extremist) it seems Nokia has this weird belief that they have the right to cherry-pick what patents they want to use of Apple's, and not just monetary payments, or at least that's my current, possibly wrong, and likely incomplete understanding of the whole case. In such a case, Apple has no reason on earth that they should have to cross-license any non-standards-related patents (for example, Apple has to extend fair licensing terms to everyone for their DisplayPort stuff) to their competitors.

All of Nokia's patents are not the issue: it's all about Nokia demanding things from Apple in exchange that aren't fair. After all, not all patents are created equal, and in this situation, Nokia is definitely the monopolist for the critical IP: Apple's would be very nice for them to have, but Nokia's problem is that because Apple IS such a late-comer, they have no cell phone-related patents that need to be used by everyone else just to make a cell phone work. Besides, if Apple pays the fair rate for their patent use to Nokia (which Apple is prone to do, once there's a settlement that's fair, or the suit goes through and is judged accordingly, with the presumption, of course, Apple was only not agreeing to an unfair licensing cost) then Nokia still wins by Apple's success, albeit not nearly as much as Nokia may stand to win competitively otherwise.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Bound to happen
by elsewhere on Tue 19th Jan 2010 07:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bound to happen"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

For all GSM standard-related patents that are required to interoperate on the phone network, Nokia MUST extend the same rates, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory to Apple, or anyone else, as a result of being in such a monopoly position for those patents: this is the crux of the matter.


Actually, no. They don't have to offer the same rates. And nobody knows what the rates are (although if it actually goes to court, that may be revealed). If anything, they need to offer similar terms. And THAT is the crux.

Nokia can go to a company like Ericsson or Motorola, and say that they need to pay $10 per handset as a royalty fee. Ericsson or Motorola can turn around and say, no problem, but we also hold patents you need, and even though you hold the largest number of patents, you still need some of ours. So Nokia says, ok, whatever, let's cross-license and at the end of they day, we'll call it $2 per handset you owe.

Then Apple comes along and says they should only have to pay $2 because that's what the other guys are paying.

The fact that Nokia is taking this to court, which will allow discovery to happen and likely shed some light on the licensing agreements they have in place with other manufacturers, means that they're probably feeling pretty confident about their position.

Apple probably thinks they're calling Nokia's bluff, but Nokia isn't bluffing. Heck, they just came out on the winning end of a lawsuit in the EU that could have seen them on the hook for $18B, because they took the patent battle to the end (the suing company wound up having a couple of the key patents ruled invalid), rather than caving and settling. They simply don't back down on IP related matters, whereas Apple's IP legal history amounts to settling and/or losing.

RAND means little if it isn't actually defined in legally valid terms, which in the case of the GSM et al. patents, it isn't.

All of Nokia's patents are not the issue: it's all about Nokia demanding things from Apple in exchange that aren't fair. After all, not all patents are created equal, and in this situation, Nokia is definitely the monopolist for the critical IP: Apple's would be very nice for them to have, but Nokia's problem is that because Apple IS such a late-comer, they have no cell phone-related patents that need to be used by everyone else just to make a cell phone work. Besides, if Apple pays the fair rate for their patent use to Nokia (which Apple is prone to do, once there's a settlement that's fair, or the suit goes through and is judged accordingly, with the presumption, of course, Apple was only not agreeing to an unfair licensing cost) then Nokia still wins by Apple's success, albeit not nearly as much as Nokia may stand to win competitively otherwise.


Fair? Nokia, among others, spends billions of dollars developing the technology that drives modern mobile networks. No matter how you cut it, the iPhone as it is exists only because of the investment that companies like Nokia et al. poured into the tehcnology that drives it.

And monopolist? How so? Does Nokia hold the bulk of the patents for GSM? No. Depending on the specific standard, they may own the single largest amount of patents, but they certainly don't hold enough to be called a monopolist.

Apple develops an innovative GUI, puts themselves on a pedestal, and dismisses the investment in the actual engineering that powers their phone. That's like Microsoft dismissing Intel's relevance in the technology space, and claiming that Windows innovation is what really drives personal computing. It's right, and it's wrong.

At any rate, Apple is in the same boat that RIM is in. They're both major players in the mobile market, but they lack the core patents to put them at parity with the companies that control the technology. Unless Apple is going to make a multi-billion dollar investment in R&D to develop some new ground-breaking wireless tech that will gain some sort of massive provider buy-in, they're going to have to settle for paying-to-play.

Fairness has nothing to do with it, they should have done better due diligence before entering the market in the first place.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Bound to happen
by tomcat on Tue 19th Jan 2010 08:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bound to happen"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

At any rate, Apple is in the same boat that RIM is in. They're both major players in the mobile market, but they lack the core patents to put them at parity with the companies that control the technology. Unless Apple is going to make a multi-billion dollar investment in R&D to develop some new ground-breaking wireless tech that will gain some sort of massive provider buy-in, they're going to have to settle for paying-to-play.


Totally agree. People like to slam Nokia for not innovating. That is so wrong. Apple couldn't have gotten where it is today without leveraging technology that Nokia and its partners developed. The basic problem here is that Apple seems to think that they didn't have to negotiate with the patent holders; that they could roll the dice on the IP, and see what happens later on. Well, they've got a lot of balls to go up against Nokia, given the sheer number of core mobile patents that Nokia holds. What I would like to see happen is for Apple to pay a substantial per-unit royalty on every iPhone sold. The cash infusion into Nokia will not only bring Apple down to Earth, but it will level the playing field, and result in greater competition.

Fairness has nothing to do with it, they should have done better due diligence before entering the market in the first place.


Agreed. Anybody who thinks that what Apple did was righteous should step back and consider the same question -- except substitute Microsoft for the party running roughshod over a patent-holder. If it's wrong for Microsoft to do it, Apple doesn't get a free ride, either. For those of you who don't believe in patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc, it's funny how some of you scream like stuck pigs when somebody questions the GPL. Like one form of IP is somehow better than another. Hypocrites.

Edited 2010-01-19 08:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Bound to happen
by zima on Wed 20th Jan 2010 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bound to happen"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

In other words, you're saying that late-comers should get beneficial treatment; unreasonable and discriminatory towards those who built the market.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bound to happen
by zima on Wed 20th Jan 2010 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Bound to happen"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But you are simply repeating what Apple says when it comes to "reasonable and non discriminatory" claims. While forgetting that not only those terms apply, apparently, just to members of GSM association (and Apple doesn't seem to want to be a member of it?), but also that Nokia certainly cross-licenses stuff with entities that need Nokia patents (and "3x more expensive for us" is, again, Apple talking).

If anything, it might be exactly that Apple demands unreasonable and discriminatory terms - demanding better treatment the any other player in the industry.

All this ignores that Apple kept iPhone secret for a long time; choose to release an infringing product without the time to clear licensing of GSM technology.

Reply Score: 1

banned
by maaxx on Mon 18th Jan 2010 00:25 UTC
maaxx
Member since:
2007-11-06

It would be interesting to have Apple banned in Europe and Nokia banned in USA. ;)

Reply Score: 7

v Ban both ...
by GenBlood on Mon 18th Jan 2010 00:43 UTC
NOW?
by kaelodest on Mon 18th Jan 2010 00:45 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

Now How Do I Turn IQ points to groklaw points?

Reply Score: 1

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I really don't see Apple ever being able to afford a hostile takeover of Nokia. More likely the other way around. In 2008, Nokia was 88th in the global Fortune 500 ranking and Apple wasn't even in the top 100. Unless the financial landscape has dramatically changed for both companies over the last year, and I doubt that very much, Nokia could probably swallow Apple whole.

Edit: I just looked up the figures for 2009. Nokia at 85, up from 88 and Apple at 253, up from 337. Although Apple have made a huge jump since the year before, they are still no where near Nokia.

Edited 2010-01-18 03:04 UTC

Reply Score: 7

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I really don't see Apple ever being able to afford a hostile takeover of Nokia. More likely the other way around. In 2008, Nokia was 88th in the global Fortune 500 ranking and Apple wasn't even in the top 100. Unless the financial landscape has dramatically changed for both companies over the last year, and I doubt that very much, Nokia could probably swallow Apple whole.

Not technically possible:
- Nokia split off their networks division
- Apple's shares are valued highly in the market, so Nokia wouldn't be able to get enough $$$

Reply Score: 1

ariarinen Member since:
2009-02-07

"I really don't see Apple ever being able to afford a hostile takeover of Nokia. More likely the other way around. In 2008, Nokia was 88th in the global Fortune 500 ranking and Apple wasn't even in the top 100. Unless the financial landscape has dramatically changed for both companies over the last year, and I doubt that very much, Nokia could probably swallow Apple whole.

Not technically possible:
- Nokia split off their networks division
- Apple's shares are valued highly in the market, so Nokia wouldn't be able to get enough $$$
"
Yes, its not technically possible, for neither one to take over the other.

And companies seldom gain anything from mergers, they just speed some cash and extra work to integrate the company.

And the network division is not completely split off, they own 50 % and Siemens own 50 %.

Reply Score: 1

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And the network division is not completely split off, they own 50 % and Siemens own 50 %.


But still, it's a separate company. And that tends to devalue the parent company's stock, unfortunately :-)

Reply Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Having looked at the original Nokia complaint, I think that they had some cojones. I haven't seen the original list of patents, but the original handful cited were REALLY grasping at straws -- and Apple's countersuit was pretty strong. I hope Nokia has found something more substantial in this later batch.


Well, that's an interesting take.

Nokia has patents related to the technology driving GSM phone networks.

Apple has software patents related to interface that may not even withstand scrutiny, and certainly wouldn't hold up outside of the US.

The one with cojones is Apple, thinking they can side-step patent licensing that every other handset manufacturer has had to agree to.

When Nokia had this dance with Qualcomm, the battle dragged out for years with a cost of hundreds of millions, including Qualcomm being locked out of the US market; if memory serves, Verizon wound up having to pay a license fee directly to Nokia in order to secure phones for their network, since the bulk of CDMA phones relied on Qualcomm chipsets. I doubt Apple's shareholders have the stomach for the kind of battle that this could lead to.

Apple's only angle is to try and force some sort of court decision on exactly what would constitute RAND license terms, which is actually what Nokia was trying to accomplish in the Qualcomm case before it was settled and withdrawn. They're not in a strong position though, given that they chose to willingly infringe the patents, and that the iPhone has been a very successful and profitable product.

This is a battle that should have been had before the phone was launched, at least they could have argued that Nokia was using their position to try and inhibit Apple's entry into the market.

If it goes to court, Apple is going to have to wind up paying Nokia a fee for every iPhone sold, potentially tripled due to the intentional infringement. The only real question would be how large that fee would be.

This one is going to be settled with a cross-licensing agreement, once the dust dies down and the egos are kept in check. It would simply be bad business otherwise, because Apple has far more to lose in this battle than Nokia does. Just wait until Nokia decides to take this battle to the EU, where much of Apple's own patent portfolio wouldn't even be recognized as valid.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple could maybe barely afford it...assuming that RIGHT NOW (with current share prices) there would be anybody willing to sell controlling stake in Nokia to Apple.

In short: no, there is no way in hell Apple could afford to pull that one off. Especially since their worth is determined by marketing & PR machine (which would take massive hit at the prospect of such buyout) much, much more than what Nokia is worth at any given moment.

Reply Score: 1

Come on now Apple...
by cmost on Mon 18th Jan 2010 03:10 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

... you really didn't think any other company would play the same game you do, did you? I have a Nokia 5800 phone and love it! Apple needs to get over itself, like right now.

Reply Score: 2

I have nothing else to say
by strcpy on Mon 18th Jan 2010 08:34 UTC
strcpy
Member since:
2009-05-20

Crazy country you have, Americans.

Reply Score: 5

Correct me please,if I'm wrong
by Budd on Mon 18th Jan 2010 10:10 UTC
Budd
Member since:
2005-07-08

Apple does not produce hardware (chips,screens etc) but they buy them instead. These manufacturers already pay for the patents Nokia have. It looks to me that Nokia is trying to double charge here the patent tax. I really don't think Nokia is the good guy here. Not like Apple would be the good guy but what is fair,is fair.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Correct me please,if I'm wrong
by crocodile on Mon 18th Jan 2010 10:33 UTC in reply to "Correct me please,if I'm wrong"
crocodile Member since:
2010-01-18

Unfortunately, you are wrong Budd . Some royalties and license fees are passed to the customers who buy the chip/hardware to make the phone.

Edited 2010-01-18 10:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

OK,but Apple are not members of the GSM assoc. so the RAND terms would not apply to them,correct?

http://www.gsmworld.com/membership/associate_members.htm

Edited 2010-01-18 10:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

eriwik Member since:
2009-07-31

OK,but Apple are not members of the GSM assoc. so the RAND terms would not apply to them,correct?

http://www.gsmworld.com/membership/associate_members.htm


Nope, it usually don't work that way, the RAND terms usually applies to all licensees. That's the ETSI IPR Policy (and I assume that Nokia belongs to ETSI) which out to be about the same as any of the other associations'.

Reply Score: 2

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

Unfortunately, you are wrong Budd . Some royalties and license fees are passed to the customers who buy the chip/hardware to make the phone.


This is fair. I also have to add that everything should be standrdized (no proprietary drivers) and pass the cost to consumers. A fair and open society.

Reply Score: 2

dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

Apple does not produce hardware (chips,screens etc) but they buy them instead. These manufacturers already pay for the patents Nokia have. It looks to me that Nokia is trying to double charge here the patent tax. I really don't think Nokia is the good guy here. Not like Apple would be the good guy but what is fair,is fair.


I don't know what patents are involved, and what is there license but i am shure that:
1) there are some software patents
2) there can be patents not covering chips but how they are conected and controled
3) there can be license that apply to the integrator
4) foxcon, the producer of the phone, does not have any license for these patents (some chip providers might have, but not all Nokia patents are coverd)

Also, I understood that Nokia does not ask for money, but a patent agreement: you are free to use my patents and I am free to use your patents

Reply Score: 2

RE: Correct me please,if I'm wrong
by ariarinen on Mon 18th Jan 2010 14:31 UTC in reply to "Correct me please,if I'm wrong"
ariarinen Member since:
2009-02-07

Apple does not produce hardware (chips,screens etc) but they buy them instead. These manufacturers already pay for the patents Nokia have. It looks to me that Nokia is trying to double charge here the patent tax. I really don't think Nokia is the good guy here. Not like Apple would be the good guy but what is fair,is fair.
The deals in-place between chip makers and patentholders is written that the end customer of the chip pays the royalty fees, rather then the chip maker!

Reply Score: 1

Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

Would you please back this with a document/link etc. Basically, a contract between Apple and,say,Qualcomm.Apple not being part of the GSM association (at least this morning they weren't) they are not bound to the RAND terms.
Thank you.
PS: is not like I don't believe,but I didn't see any official info. Media is saying Apple thinks it pays too much (which is BS since they must have access to the contract numbers) or that Nokia is seeking patent for patent (again,pure speculation).

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Would you please back this with a document/link etc. Basically, a contract between Apple and,say,Qualcomm.Apple not being part of the GSM association (at least this morning they weren't) they are not bound to the RAND terms.
Thank you.
PS: is not like I don't believe,but I didn't see any official info. Media is saying Apple thinks it pays too much (which is BS since they must have access to the contract numbers) or that Nokia is seeking patent for patent (again,pure speculation).


A very select amount of people know such details. And those are not publicised.

Reply Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Would you please back this with a document/link etc. Basically, a contract between Apple and,say,Qualcomm.Apple not being part of the GSM association (at least this morning they weren't) they are not bound to the RAND terms.


When the GSM standard was established, the companies with technology deemed essential for implementing the standard agreed that those patents would be made available under RAND terms. You're basically talking about Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola and Qualcomm holding the bulk.

The problem is that there is no clear definition for RAND. From the moment the first GSM network was lit up, the licensing situation has been a big steaming cup of ugly. All of the players played silly bugger at some point with their licensing requirements, and it was several years before the tech was made available to handset manufacturers that weren't part of the intial standard (mostly the Asian manufacturers), and that probably only came around from pressure on behalf of the providers and government.

So the long and the short of it is that, while the patent holders agreed to RAND license terms, those terms were not laid out and are pretty much in the control of the patent holders. It's not like other standards such as the media codecs, where there is pretty much a published price list for royalties that go into a pool and are distributed to the patent holders. GSM tech requires licensing directly with the patent holders.

Being a member of the GSM Association is not a pre-requisite for implementing the standard (RIM isn't, either), but by the same token, the GSM Association will certainly not attempt to mediate or pressure Nokia on behalf of Apple.

PS: is not like I don't believe,but I didn't see any official info. Media is saying Apple thinks it pays too much (which is BS since they must have access to the contract numbers) or that Nokia is seeking patent for patent (again,pure speculation).


Your right about Apple's claims about paying too much, since they don't have access to the license agreements with other manufacturers, those are all protected under pretty heavy NDAs, so is simply speculation on Apple's part.

The way the game is played is that the manufacturers leverage their own patent portfolios for cross-licensing when negotiating prices. If a company like Motorola licenses from Nokia, they are paying considerably less than a manufacturer like HTC, since they are offering up and licensing their own patents that Nokia requires as part of the agreement. In some cases it could simply be a cross-licensing agreement with no royalties, or it could be reduced royalty fees based on the perceived value of each party's patent pool.

One could argue that this is a bit unfair to the manufacturers that are not part of that core group of companies, since they would likely pay higher fees, but the counter to that is that they haven't had to make the multi-billion dollar investments in developing the technology either.

Nokia is trying to establish an agreement that would include a license fee and cross-licensing of certain patents from Apple. Apple is balking at the fee, and doesn't want to license their patents in return.

This is a double-edged sword for Apple, because not only are they facing a very large battle with Nokia, but they could find themselves in a similar position with the other technology holders for licensing future devices. Apple does not have the R&D capabilities to play alongside this little cartel, and is always going to be reliant on patent licensing as long as they want to play in the communications game. By refusing to use their own patents in negotiating, as all the other manufacturers do, they may find themselves walled out.

Reply Score: 2

Nokia innovates, Apple gets a free ride
by spiderman on Mon 18th Jan 2010 10:24 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

Nokia's R&D team is 39850 people (out of total 130000). That's twice the size of Apple (20000 people, including contractors). Most of Apple employees are in marketing and legal field. Apple has been patenting the hell out of thin air (pinching and stuff). Nokia's patents comes from real research that costs real money. Nokia pretty much invented the phone as we know it today. They designed GSM and the network of tower back-end for mobile phones. Apples adds a nice touch interface and puts some big money in marketing and they have the highest profit margin of them all (no wonder there)
Apple can afford to pay the patents to Nokia and they should do it. Nokia will spend that money on further development and that beats filling the pocket of useless Apple share holders.

Reply Score: 12

Nokia is in the wrong
by 3rdalbum on Mon 18th Jan 2010 10:45 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

I dislike Apple quite a lot, and I've always owned Nokia phones, but I think Nokia is in the wrong here. A big company suing another big company over patents is ridiculous because the defending company will likely be able to countersue over its own patents. The result will often be settlement and cross-licensing of some patents, but it's a nasty way of accomplishing this (if it was your goal in the first place).

At least it's not as bad as the CSIRO, who waited until wifi was ubiquitous and then started suing companies for merely shipping products that contained other manufacturers' wifi chipsets.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Nokia is in the wrong
by mkools on Mon 18th Jan 2010 13:44 UTC in reply to "Nokia is in the wrong"
mkools Member since:
2005-10-11

I dislike Apple quite a lot, and I've always owned Nokia phones, but I think Nokia is in the wrong here. A big company suing another big company over patents is ridiculous because the defending company will likely be able to countersue over its own patents.


Likely to, yes. So what should Nokia then do? Just let Apple use their technology for free or for a very small fee because they will probably counter-sue Nokia anyway?

I'm sure Nokia took their time to work out a solid case. I mean the iPhone is on the market for quite some time now and it's making a lot of cash for Apple using Nokia's technology, I can't see why Nokia should not be paid accordingly.

Besides that, Apple has a long history of suing company's and/or individuals, Nokia doesn't.

I think Apple is an evil company, known for their monopolistic and dominant behavior over their partners and customers. I mean even talking about their new tablet PC can get you a cease and desist letter from their army of lawyers.

Reply Score: 7

RAND and essential patents
by eriwik on Mon 18th Jan 2010 19:26 UTC
eriwik
Member since:
2009-07-31

There has been a lot of talk about RAND terms and whether Nokia is trying to charge to much for their patents. What I think most of you are missing is that RAND terms probably only applies to so called essential patents, which are patents that are necessary to implement a certain standard/specification.

I'm basing this on the ETSI IPR policy which ought to be quite similar to those of the other associations.

Let's take a silly example: Imagine that there is some specification that requires you to sort a list. There are only two know algorithms for sorting: bubble sort and quick sort, now imagine that some company has a patent for quick sort. That would mean that it is possible to implement the specification without having to buy a license (in other words there are no essential patents) but there exists a so called implementation patent, and usually the owner of that patent is free to charge as much as he likes for that.

I don't know what kind of patents the one Nokia wants to sell are, but I would guess that they are implementation patents an not essential patents.

Edited 2010-01-18 19:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Apple-stapo
by rockwell on Tue 19th Jan 2010 03:16 UTC
rockwell
Member since:
2005-09-13

Apple is becoming far worse than Microsoft with their draconian/gestapo tactics.

Screw them and their products. I was thinking of buying a Macbook, but I've had it with every other story seemingly being "Apple sends lawyers after Company X or Person Y for farting in Steve Job's general direction."

Reply Score: 3

v osnews
by Mellin on Tue 19th Jan 2010 09:25 UTC
RE: osnews
by spiderman on Tue 19th Jan 2010 09:44 UTC in reply to "osnews"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


i know every idiot will vote this down!

I wish I could. Too bad I already posted.
Off-topic or troll? (can't select both unfortunately)
Maybe you can RTFA? It's not OSNews that is attacking Apple! It's about Nokia and Apple, you idiot! OSNews is just reporting the story.

Edited 2010-01-19 09:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: osnews
by MamiyaOtaru on Tue 19th Jan 2010 11:15 UTC in reply to "osnews"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

i know every idiot will vote this down!

You're welcome

Reply Score: 2

European Lawfare
by MasterBlaster on Wed 20th Jan 2010 23:36 UTC
MasterBlaster
Member since:
2009-01-30

Yet another uncompetitive European corporation elects to use legal wrangling to compensate for being completely outmanuevered in the marketplace. Nokia should abandon the smartphone market to the pros and focus on making cheap phones for the 3rd world. A ban on Nokia products in the US? I think it already exists in the form of Nokia's US marketshare.

Reply Score: 1