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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FellowConspirator
Member since:
2007-12-13

Well, they can afford it. Not that it makes business sense or that it would fly past anti-trust rules (well, unless they just take the patents and spin of Nokia as it was before, but as a perpetual no-cost licensee of their portfolio).

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.

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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 1