Apple takes the defense of its intellectual property seriously. That’s what COO Tim Cook said at the company’s quarterly earnings conference back in January. The story then was the Palm Pre, unreleased at that point but still hyped. When someone asked Cook about the Pre and multitouch, Cook said that “we will not stand for having our IP ripped off and will use whatever weapons are at our disposal.” But then Elan Microelectronics threw a wrench in that by suing Apple over multitouch patents. That ended any Apple threat to sue Palm. It also isn’t the only suit Apple faces over the iPhone. Nokia filed a lawsuit today which alleges that Apple has infringed on 10 Nokia patents in the creation of the iPhone.
Nokia is taking this suit seriously, accusing Apple of “attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.” These patents relate to wireless data, speech coding, security, and encryption. It appears, then, that Apple faces suits over nearly every part of their best-selling device.
mocoNews.net wonders why Nokia waited until now to file suit. It’s not all that hard to figure out, though. First, it takes a while to build this type of suit. Maybe not two-plus years, but it certainly can’t be compiled and filed overnight. Second, Apple just recorded an expectations-shattering quarter, featuring a $1.67 billion profit. They did this with may products, but the iPhone sold particularly well with 7.4 million units in the quarter, up from 6.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Surely Nokia has used this information in its suit.
This could take a while to sort out. In fact, if Apple continues its iPhone-a-year scheme, we could see a new iPhone out before any settlement is reached in this case. Still, for a company that has stood on high and mighty ground with its intellectual property, Apple is facing a lot of claims (a dozen in total) of infringement.