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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10896/nokia-v-apple-and-patent-protectionism/

Nokia v. Apple and Patent Protectionism

October 23, 2009 by

See Nokia: Apple iPhone Violates Our Patents: A few choice excerpts:

In a statement, “Nokia said Apple has refused to pay for use of intellectual property developed by Nokia that lets handsets connect to third-generation, or 3G, wireless networks, as well as to wireless local area networks. “Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation,” Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia vice-president for legal and intellectual property, said in the statement.

This implies apple copied their patented inventions. but copying need not be shown for infringement, and you can bet they will not rely on this in pressing their case. They are trying to have it both ways: to darkly hint Apple copied them, while being happy to persecute Apple for non-copying acts that still infringe their patents.

The Finnish handset giant said Oct. 22 it has filed suit against Apple … in U.S. District Court in Delaware, accusing its California-based rival of infringing patents for core technology that allows the iPhone to make calls and connect to the mobile Internet. Although Nokia … has sued rivals such as Qualcomm … over patents in the past, the latest lawsuit came as a surprise–and represents an escalation of increasingly contentious competition with Apple.

So … the filing of the lawsuit is how they are engaging in “increasingly contentious competition.” How much more clear could it be that these patents are nothing but anti-competitive devices used for protectionism?! It’s obvious to everyone.

The loss of smartphone share is doubly frustrating to Nokia because it sold phones with computer-like features years before Apple. During the last two years Nokia has launched a series of handsets with iPhone-like touchscreen interfaces, but none has generated quite the same buzz as Apple’s devices….

So they are losing out in competition, so using legal weapons instead.

Apple, like all mobile-phone makers, relies on such standards to make its devices compatible with carrier networks. Nokia says it has contributed its intellectual property to global standards bodies, but demands to be compensated for the use of its patents in commercial products. “Apple is expected to follow this principle,” Nokia’s Rahnasto said in the company’s statement.

So, Nokia contributed to a standard with the very goal of making a standard that everyone would start using. Apple starts using it–bam, they sue them. Nokia is leveraging the monopoly the state granted them. Horrible.

{ 14 comments }

Cell phone reviews October 23, 2009 at 2:02 am

The iPhone has been out for years with this tech, and Nokia is just now saying something? That’s ridiculous, and petty, and quite frankly looks desperate.

Peter October 23, 2009 at 8:11 am

So, Nokia contributed to a standard with the very goal of making a standard that everyone would start using. Apple starts using it–bam, they sue them.

Precisely why the HTML video tag should use the open Theora codec (as in Firefox), rather than letting Apple get away with pushing everyone toward H.264 for web-video…

getting pregnant tips October 23, 2009 at 10:12 am

The damn phone has been out for over 2 years. They are obviously not aggressively enforcing the rights violations they are alleging after so much time. Legally they might be within the time frame, but we all know that companies wait years so that settlements will be higher than ever.

Mace October 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

Idiotic comments which just show you don’t know at all what you are talking about. Open standard like GSM does not mean that you cannot have patents in it. On the contrary, they are full of essential patents which guarantee some reasonable and fair royalties for the people and companies who have spent enormous amount of work and money to make it work. Everybody knows these terms and understand that its for the benefit of whole community. Open standard does not mean it is free.Now, Apple comes to the game and tries to have free lunch using technology developed by others. They are basically stealing the technology from others. They just don’t understand the rules yet, but luckily Nokia will teach them the hard way.

Mace October 23, 2009 at 11:05 am

Idiotic comments which just show you don’t know at all what you are talking about. Open standard like GSM does not mean that you cannot have patents in it. On the contrary, they are full of essential patents which guarantee some reasonable and fair royalties for the people and companies who have spent enormous amount of work and money to make it work. Everybody knows these terms and understand that its for the benefit of whole community. Open standard does not mean it is free.Now, Apple comes to the game and tries to have free lunch using technology developed by others. They are basically stealing the technology from others. They just don’t understand the rules yet, but luckily Nokia will teach them the hard way.

Stephan Kinsella October 23, 2009 at 11:23 am

Mace windu,

“Open standard like GSM does not mean that you cannot have patents in it.”

True. Although the courts tend to give this scrutiny since they don’t want the monopoly privileges they give people to be leveraged too much. Further, there are license and estoppel/laches issues possible.

“On the contrary, they are full of essential patents which guarantee some reasonable and fair royalties for the people and companies who have spent enormous amount of work and money to make it work.”

What is reasonable and fair?

“Apple comes to the game and tries to have free lunch using technology developed by others.”

Nokia does not have to prove (a) that any of their patents cover the standard; or (b) that Apple copied it from them. Are you in favor of adding a copying requirement to the patent law, so that if you develop your technology independently you are not an infringer? Iam in favor of this. If you are, then you are in favor of radically eviscerating and weakening the patent law. If you are not in favor of it you are pulling the same trick as Nokia: trying to make it look like patent infringers are thieves or copiers, will still wanting them to be liable *even if they are not*.

“They are basically stealing the technology from others.”

First, Nokia need not prove copying, and there is no evidence Apple copied Nokia’s patented technology. It could be that Apple developed or adopted certain methods and designs necessary to comply with the standard’s basic specifications, but without copying or even being aware of Nokia’s designs or patents.

Second, by calling it “stealing” you are engaging in what is known as question-begging.

Shay October 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Mace wrote, “Now, Apple comes to the game and tries to have free lunch using technology developed by others. They are basically stealing the technology from others. They just don’t understand the rules yet, but luckily Nokia will teach them the hard way.”

So Nokia and all the other phone manufacturers’ phones don’t work anymore because Apple stole the technology? I hope they demand that Apple return it, otherwise all those non-working phones are going to cause lots of problems. When I had my car stolen, it was difficult to get around, so I know what it’s like having things stolen. (apologies to sane readers; I just couldn’t hold back this time)

Ribald October 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm

The non-harm of copying applies to copyright as well.

I think Mises was in support of copyright, though. I think this argument actually has a certain nuance that makes it applicable to technology and not to copyright.

Roger October 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm

“I think Mises was in support of copyright”

This was one area Mises was not consequent enough with libertarianism. The other area was the abolishment of the state itself (in other words: the possibility of secession by each individual).

Diseño Web October 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm

The iPhone has been out for years with this tech, and Nokia is just now saying something?

carlos - abogado cordoba October 26, 2010 at 7:18 am

recisely why the HTML video tag should use the open Theora codec (as in Firefox), rather than letting Apple get away with pushing everyone toward H.264 for web-video…

paisajista December 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm

The damn phone has been out for over 2 years. They are obviously not aggressively enforcing the rights violations they are alleging after so much time.

arquitectos en cordoba February 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I think Mises was in support of copyright, though. I think this argument actually has a certain nuance that makes it applicable to technology and not to copyright.

escorts en cordoba July 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Legally they might be within the time frame, but we all know that companies wait years so that settlements will be higher than ever!

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