apple logo bite nokia Apple vs. Nokia: The Fight Continues

image from Engadget

For the legal eagles, Nokia fans and Apple fans…

Is it a surprise that Apple has responded to Nokia’s International Trade Commission (ITC) request to ban imports of Apple devices with a US embargo request of its own?

The Notice of Apple’s complaint was posted yesterday on the ITC’s website.  For those who don’t know, the ITC is the US government agency that protects the US  market from unfair trade practices. To date, there is no detail on Apple’s complaint. (We’ll update as info is released.)

The Next Web has been covering this escalating legal battle since its beginning.  It started in October of last year when Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement regarding its GSM, UMTS and WiFi patents.  Nokia later expanded the claim to cover a wider range of items by claiming:

  • Multiple Apple’s products infringe a patent that involes “combining multiple functionality of the camera on the same chip”
  • iPhone infringes Nokia’s patent (that saves space in the device) that “combines the antenna around the speaker”. As a bonus a patent around power saving is mentioned.
  • The article also reveals that in addition to the ITC complaint, Nokia has opened, or is going to open, a new case in the Delaware court in addition to the original case from October.

    from the Nokia Views blog

Apple, of course, countersued: Apple countersues Nokia with dirty fighting talk.

Before people start yelling that these ITC claims are overkill, actually, ITC claims are standard in these sorts of legal battles:

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) provides an alternate forum for US intellectual property owners seeking to enforce their rights against infringing imports. The ITC typically hears claims of patent or trademark infringement, but it can also investigate unfair competition claims such as the misappropriation of trade secrets, passing off, and false advertising. The ITC forum offers several advantages over US district court. The primary advantage is that the ITC is required by statute to complete its proceedings “at the earliest practicable time.” Thus, the ITC will typically render its final decision within 12 to 15 months after an action has been initiated.

from Intellectual property litigation and the ITC

Now that this brawl has spread to the ITC, I’m curious to see where it’s going to go next.

What do you think?