Nokia filed patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in the United States and Germany yesterday, alleging that Apple is infringing on more than 30 patents owned by Nokia. Now, Apple is responding.
When I first covered the news, I thought it smelled a bit like a patent troll; the language sounded a bit like Nokia was trying to puff its chest as it readies to deploy new mobile devices. It mentioned that it has created “thousands of patents” and actually reeked a bit of the sort of lawsuit that might be filed by a patent troll. Turns out Apple feels the same way and thinks Nokia has teamed up with so-called patent trolls, or patent assertion entities (PAEs for short), to file the suits.
“With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present,” Apple said, according to MacRumors. “The driving force behind Nokia’s strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators.”
In other words, Apple believes Nokia is basically handing off the patents to firms that will help it sue Apple for infringement. The problem, as usual, is that “patent trolls” often own thousands of patents without any intention of ever using the technology mentioned within. It’s an awful practice that affects much of the tech world.
But Nokia does own thousands of patents
Perhaps Nokia is indeed trying to sue Apple for rightful reasons, though. There’s no denying its inventions helped create the entire bedrock of the mobile industry.