Apple has other legal dispute to deal with other than the $14.4 billion in taxes that the European Union is demanding. The American tech giant filed a case on Tuesday against the Acacia Research and Conversant Intellectual Property Management for conspiring with Nokia in raising patent prices. Nokia immediately retaliated by filing complaints across 11 countries against Apple for violating 40 of its patents.
The legal disputes were brought by Apple’s refusal to continue paying Nokia for the use of its patents. According to the New York Times, Apple has already paid a “modest royalty” for the past five years. Unfortunately, the agreement between the two companies is set to expire on Dec. 31. Apparently, the Finnish tech company intends to extend it and demands Apple to license additional patents. This prompted Apple to file a case against the companies that Nokia has colluded with. The once largest cellphone maker has been accused of extortion. In addition, it might have violated federal antitrust law.
On the other hand, Nokia decided to expand its patent litigation against Apple across 11 countries like the US, Germany, UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Finland and Japan. Apple allegedly infringed 40 patents that include the display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding. Nokia claimed that Apple declined “subsequent offers” to license the patented inventions that are being used by “many of Apple’s products”.
Nokia’s Head of Patent Business Ilkka Rahnasto said, “Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products. After several years of negotiations trying to reach an agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents, we are now taking to defend our rights.”
Apple disagrees and insisted that “Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s own inventions they had nothing to do with”.
The conflict is described by intellectual property lawyer Clem Roberts. He said to the New York Times, “Apple is saying, we want to pay one low price and not have to deal with any of your patent again. Nokia is saying, ‘I don’t want that low price because my patents are worth more than that.’”
This is not the first time that Apple was involved in a patent dispute. Earlier this month, Samsung was favored by the United States Supreme Court over Apple. The ruling stated that the Korean-based tech company should not pay for “all $399 million awarded to Apple in a previous lower court ruling for infringing on Apple’s iPhone design”, according to CNBC. Samsung pointed out that Apple is only entitled to only the profits from the components that infringed. The amount should not be calculated from the company’s total profits.