Top global cellphone maker Nokia on Thursday charged Apple Inc with infringing Nokia patents, accusing the iPhone maker of trying to hitch a “free-ride” on Nokia's technology investments.
Nokia dominates the global handset market but it has lost some ground to new smartphone entrants like Apple, which entered the market with its iPhone in mid-2007.
The 10 patents in the lawsuit, filed in the US state of Delaware, relate to technologies fundamental to devices using GSM, UMTS and/or wireless local area network (LAN) standards, Nokia said.
In its complaint filed with the US District Court for the District of Delaware, Nokia said it was seeking compensation for Apple's use of the patents and a declaration that Nokia is entitled to an injunction until Apple pays compensation, along with interest, for past infringement. It did not specify an amount.
“Apple's wireless communication devices take advantage of the decades of continued investments by Nokia to build today's communication protocols,” Nokia said in the filing. “By refusing to compensate Nokia for its patented technologies, Apple is attempting to get a ‘free-ride’ on the billions of dollars that Nokia has invested.”
Apple declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Analysts said the suit could have an impact on the iPhone maker, who is likely one of the biggest net payers of royalties in the industry. As a latecomer, Apple has limited intellectual property assets compared with rivals, when all vendors work under cross-licensing agreements.