[JURIST] Finnish telecommunications company Nokia [corporate website] filed suit [press release] Thursday against Apple [corporate website] in the US District Court for the District of Delaware [official website], alleging that Apple infringed 10 of its patents on its iPhone. The patents cover wireless data transmission, speech coding, and security/encryption, specifically GSM, UTMS (3G), and WLAN standards. Nokia alleges that Apple has infringed its right to exclude others from those technologies since the first iPhone was released in 2007. Nokia's Vice-President of Legal and Intellectual Property Ilkka Rahnasto said that:
those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for. … By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation.
It is believed that Nokia is seeking between $200 and $400 million in damages from Apple, a relatively low amount to seek from a company that expects revenues [MSNBC report] of over $11 billion this year. There has been no official response to the filing by Apple.
Nokia's suit is not the first time Apple has faced legal action over its iPhone brand. In November 2008, EMT Technologies Inc. sued Apple, claiming that Apple infringed its patent [Computerworld report] for "apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling Internet content." Earlier that year, Apple settled a suit [CNET report] with Klausner Technologies, which, in December 2007, alleged Apple infringed a patent [CNET report] relating to its visual voicemail function. Earlier in 2007, Apple was the target of another patent infringement suit, this time relating to the keyboard on the iPhone [Ars Technica report].