Today was a busy day for Apple’s and Nokia’s lawyers. Firstly, Apple filed a major antitrust complaint against Nokia and “conspirators“, claiming that Nokia is trying to monopolize Standard-Essential Patents’ (SEP) market in anillegal scheme. Apple says that Nokia conspired with patent trolls like “acacia”, “Vringo”, “Conversant”, and others.
Apple basically says that Nokia sold its SEP and other patents to those “patent trolls” so the Companies involved can extract more Money from Apple for the patent licences. Apple’s case against Nokia is reallystrong and Nokia could be guilty of breaching antitrust rules, but before making our own conclusions, we should wait for Nokia response to this allegation. If Apple is right, the Company seeks:
Apple respectfully requests the following relief:
A.That Defendants’ unlawful conduct be declared a violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1 and 2, and Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18;
B.That Defendants’ unlawful conduct be declared a violation of Cal. Bus. Prof. Code § 17200, et seq.;
C.That Defendants’ unlawful conduct be judged a breach of contract;
D.That Apple recover damages against Acacia and Conversant, including incidental and consequential damages, in an amount to be determined and multiplied to the extent provided by law;
E.That all contracts or agreements that Nokia, on the one hand, and or Acacia or Conversant, on the other, entered into in violation of the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, Cal. Bus. Prov. Code § 17200, et seq., or in breach of Nokia’s FRAND undertakings be declared void and the patents covered by those transfer agreements be transferred back from Acacia and Conversant (or their respective subsidiaries) to Nokia; F.That all patents transferred by Nokia to, or acquired by, Acacia or Conversant (or their respective subsidiaries) in violation of the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, Cal. Bus. Prof. Code § 17200, et seq., or in breach of Nokia’s FRAND undertakings be declared unenforceable;
G.That Acacia and Conversant be enjoined from seeking injunctions against Apple based on declared SEPs for which Nokia made FRAND commitments;
H.That Apple be awarded expenses and costs of suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, to the extent provided by law; and
I.That Apple be awarded such additional relief as the Court may deem proper.
Nokia issued today a different response. Nokia sued Apple in the US and Europe for infringement of Nokia patents. Nokia filed 32 technology patents infringements in categories: displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets, video coding, and many more to come.
“Since agreeing a licence covering some patents from Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products.” – Nokia
So, if this is the Second Patent War between Apple and Nokia, what happened in the first? In 2011, after 2 years of ‘fighting’, Nokia and Apple reached a settlement in which Apple agreed to pay a licence to Nokia for every sold iPhone, and to make a one-time payment of more than €800 million.
The ‘2011 contract’ is expiring this year, and Nokia and Apple were till this day in negotiations about a new contract, which would be much more favourable for Nokia, because it wouldn’t include cross-licencing. It is clear that the negotiations hit a wall, and this is the result – a strong antitrust complaint against Nokia, and a patent infringement complaint against Apple.