First Nokia sued Apple, now Apple’s sending a lawsuit in the other direction.
In an announcement today, Apple’s Steve Dowling shows that the Cupertino giant isn’t taking Nokia’s claims of ten counts of patent infringement lying down. Apple is claiming Nokia has infringed 13 of its patents.
The brief quote in the announcement sounds like fighting talk to us:
“Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours,” said Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president.
All Things Digital has dug up Apple’s actual court filing. It accuses Nokia of outright copying the iPhone with choice quotes like:
“…the market changed suddenly and [Nokia was] not fast enough changing with it. In response, Nokia chose to copy the iPhone, especially its enormously popular and patented design and user interface….”
There’s no doubt that the iPhone changed the mobile phone landscape forever and every major phone manufacturer has raced to compete with its own range of touchscreen smartphones. Nokia’s most successful attempt to date has been the mid-market 5800 handset. The higher-end N97 has failed to inspire buyers while the N900 is a perfect phone for phone geeks but the Maemo OS it runs is yet to gain support from major software developers.
Patent disputes like this are difficult to predict. Whether Apple or Nokia wins this spat likely depends on their respective lawyers’ ability to split legal hairs.