Late last year, Apple filed an antitrust complaint against Nokia, accusing the company of “conspiracy against Apple“, by creating a network of patent trolls that are extorting Money from Apple by filing aggressive patent lawsuits. One of the patent trolls Apple accused is Acacia Research, in fact the largest publicly traded patent-assertion company. Acacia’s Cellular Communications Equipment unit has sued Apple and US phone carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile for infringing four patents related to basic cell phone technologies, all originating from Nokia.
Nokia and Acacia have a so-called “patent privateering” agreement, in which Nokia sells and/or shares some patents with Acacia for cash and/or cut in the patent deals Acacia will make with 3rd parties. Apple accused Nokia of breaching antitrust laws by doing so, and Nokia responded with a bunch of lawsuits claiming that Apple is trying to avoid paying for Nokia’s patents that are used in their devices.
Nokia expects a positive outcome of this litigation, and the company has already warned investors that the patent war versus Apple could cost about €100 million annually. Also, Withings products took the biggest hit in this war, with Apple removing the products from its store, and Nokia cancelling the new Home Plus camera probably because of the dispute.