Nokia expands patent lawsuit against Apple

Nokia says it patented wiping gestures 10 years before the iPhone arrived

Nokia announced on Thursday that it has filed patent claims in the U.K. High Court, Dusseldorf and Mannheim District Courts in Germany and the District Court of the Hague, Netherlands, again taking aim at Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

The claims are the latest in the patent war between the two companies, which started in October last year when Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement. Apple then countersued Nokia.

The actions announced Thursday add 13 Nokia patents to the 24 already asserted against Apple at the U.S. International Trade Commission and in Delaware and Wisconsin Federal courts, according to a statement from Nokia.

The new filings cover patents related to a wide variety of areas, including touch user interface, on-device application stores, signal noise suppression, antennas, display illumination and the integration of multiple radios, according to Nokia. For example, using a wiping gesture to navigate on a touch screen was patented by Nokia more than 10 years before the launch of the iPhone, it said.

Nokia and Apple aren't the only companies suing each other in the mobile phone market. Apple has sued HTC and Motorola, while Motorola is involved in a legal battle with Microsoft. Add to that Oracle's patent lawsuit against Google and its Android operating system.

Usually the lawsuits are about the money: Companies will license patents if the price is right. But just a fraction of a percentage point difference in royalties can mean a lot of money when a billion phones are sold annually, Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said earlier this year. One company pursuing a different strategy is Apple, Wood said: Rather than license its patents to generate a revenue stream, it uses them to differentiate its products from the competition.

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Tags smartphonesNokiaApplelegalPhonesconsumer electronicsintellectual propertypatentMobile handsets

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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