In 2011, Apple and Nokia settled a two-year battle over patent royalties for mobile phones. Nokia stopped making phones after that but kept patents related to that business, and now Nokia has filed 2 suits which cover a total of 32 patents, today directly against Apple in Europe and the US that claims the company is still infringing on Nokia’s patents. Nokia and its Alcatel-Lucent USA unit filed two lawsuits on Wednesday against Apple in federal court (Marshall, Texas) claiming patent violations related to the products including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, Mac computers and digital media players such as Apple TV.
In a press release of its own, Nokia noted that it has invested over $120 billion in research and development over the last two decades, and owns tens of thousands of patents that cover technology found in smartphones, tablets, computers, and other electronics. But the company is now alleging that Apple has infringed upon some of those patents. “Since agreeing on a license covering some patents from the 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,” the company wrote in its release.
The Nokia lawsuit accuses every version of iPhone—from the iPhone 7 all the way back to the iPhone 3GS—of infringing Nokia patents. Also accused are iPad Pro and every version of iPad Air and iPad Mini, as well as the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and services like Find My iPhone and Find my iPad.
As one example, Nokia says that US Patent No. 6,701,294, which it acquired from Alcatel-Lucent, is infringed by Apple’s Siri feature in iOS 10.
Just a day ago, Apple filed an antitrust lawsuit (PDF) against Nokia in federal court in San Jose. In it, Apple accused the Finnish company of transferring “massive numbers of patents” to patent assertion companies like Acacia. Nokia reached a deal with “each of its PAE co-conspirators” to separately enforce a diffused patent portfolio, “to maximize the aggregate royalties that can be extracted from product companies,” Apple lawyers allege. “Nokia and those PAEs have thereby increased market power and created or enhanced monopoly power associated with those patents.”
Apple claims that Nokia’s strategy of working with PAEs to stack up big royalty payments is a violation of US antitrust laws, as well as a breach of contract. The breach of contract claim says that Nokia violated its commitments to license certain standard-essential patents on a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) basis.