It’s like its 2009 all over again. Nokia earlier today announced that it’s suing Apple in Europe and in the United States for patent infringement. In a press release detailing the suit, Nokia says that it decided to take Apple to court after “several years of negotiations” failed to yield a mutually beneficial licensing agreement over an assortment of mobile technologies. All told, Nokia is asserting 32 patents against Apple.

Apple, of course, has never been shy about fighting back on the legal front and filed an antitrust lawsuit of its own today, alleging that Nokia is leveraging patent assertion entities as a means to bully Apple into inking licensing deals at a cost far higher than the fair-market value of the technology at issue.

Apple’s antitrust suit was brought to light by Florian Mueller and reads in part:

Apple brings this action to remedy a continuing anticompetitive scheme. Acacia Research Corporation and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Acacia”) and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc. (“Conversant”) and its subsidiaries have respectively colluded with Nokia Corporation (itself and through its affiliates Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy and Nokia Technologies Oy to obtain from Nokia thousands of patents as part of a plan to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly and anticompetitively from Apple and other innovative suppliers of cell phones, and ultimately from the consumers of those products. Acacia, Conversant, and many other patent assertion entities have conspired with Nokia to use unfair and anticompetitive patent assertions to improperly tax the innovations of cell phone makers.

This conduct is all the more pernicious because it unfairly and anticompetitively evades binding commitments that Nokia made to license declared standard essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

The patents Nokia is suing over include a wide array of mobile-oriented technologies relating to areas such as “display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding.”

Incidentally, Nokia said that it plans to file additional patent lawsuits against Apple in other jurisdictions in the near future.

Nokia previously sued Apple for patent infringement in 2009, sparking a global legal battle that ultimately resulted in a settlement agreement in 2011.

Update: Nokia has since filed additional lawsuits against Apple in a number of other countries.

View Comments