Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Nov 2010 21:39 UTC, submitted by elsewhere
Legal It seems like the first battle in the patent dispute between Nokia and Apple has been in Nokia's favour. The staff of the US International Trade Commission has sided with Nokia, stating that either the claims in Apple patents were invalid, or they were not infringed upon. All this was detailed in a memo, but for some reason, nobody is actually linking to said memo, making this story a little sparse on details (cookie if you can find the memo).
Thread beginning with comment 448511
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: I still don't understand...
by rmeyers on Thu 4th Nov 2010 14:51 UTC in reply to "I still don't understand..."
rmeyers
Member since:
2009-12-16

I posted this once before but perhaps it is worth reposting. There seems to be a great deal of confusion about what patent infringement actually is. Here is the actual US law;
US Code Title 35, Part III, Chapter 28, Section 271,(a) "Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent."

In fact, every person or company who infringes on a patent is liable. That includes everyone in the production/supply chain.

One of the posters in this thread stated that the chip manufacturers do not need to license the GSM patents. According to the law that is not correct, they do need to license the applicable patents. Whether they do or not I have no knowledge.

There is one facet of the law that protects consumers. If you think about the wording of the law it follows that, for example, should Apple be found to infringe on someones patent that is incorporated into the iPhone, that everyone who bought an iPhone would also be infringing that patent. To protect consumers the law provides that the manufacturer of a 'consumer' product (as determined by the appropriate US authorities) must indemnify those same end users. To be clear, the end users are infringing and are liable for damages, however the manufacturer must make good on those damages. This part of the reason that the damage awards can be so large.

Reply Parent Score: 2

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

In fact, every person or company who infringes on a patent is liable. That includes everyone in the production/supply chain.

One of the posters in this thread stated that the chip manufacturers do not need to license the GSM patents. According to the law that is not correct, they do need to license the applicable patents. Whether they do or not I have no knowledge.


To clarify, it wasn't stated that the chip manufacturers do not need to license, just that they don't bother in most cases when selling in volume to manufacturers, rather than as a ready-to-use product.

It's correct that everyone in the supply chain would be infringing the patent if it isn't licensed, but by the same token the patent holders are limited in their ability to charge a fee for licensing at each step. In general terms, if Nokia licenses the GSM patents to the chip manufacturer, they are limited in their ability to further charge licensing fees downstream (patent exhaustion). Doctrine of first sale can be applied by the courts to patents, which could (and has) prevent a patent holder from seeking additional fees from further uses of an already licensed product.

In a case like this, it is generally more advantageous for the patent holder to charge the license fee to the manufacturer using the chipset rather than the manufacturer making it (although the manufacturer may have to license separate patents related to the actual manufacture of the chip etc.)

So technically the chipset makers are infringing, but the patent holders are not asserting their rights at that level in the chain.

Reply Parent Score: 3

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I posted this once before but perhaps it is worth reposting. There seems to be a great deal of confusion about what patent infringement actually is. Here is the actual US law; US Code Title 35, Part III, Chapter 28, Section 271,(a) "Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent." In fact, every person or company who infringes on a patent is liable. That includes everyone in the production/supply chain. One of the posters in this thread stated that the chip manufacturers do not need to license the GSM patents. According to the law that is not correct, they do need to license the applicable patents. Whether they do or not I have no knowledge. There is one facet of the law that protects consumers. If you think about the wording of the law it follows that, for example, should Apple be found to infringe on someones patent that is incorporated into the iPhone, that everyone who bought an iPhone would also be infringing that patent. To protect consumers the law provides that the manufacturer of a 'consumer' product (as determined by the appropriate US authorities) must indemnify those same end users. To be clear, the end users are infringing and are liable for damages, however the manufacturer must make good on those damages. This part of the reason that the damage awards can be so large.


Good points of clarification.

Reply Parent Score: 2