Nokia wades into patent wars, targeting HTC and RIM

By Stuart Sumner
03 May 2012 View Comments

Nokia has filed claims against rival handset manufacturers HTC, RIM, and US firm Viewsonic, alleging that they have each infringed its patents.

Louise Pentland, chief legal officer at Nokia, explained that the firm has already agreed deals with other companies to use its designs, but had no such contracts in place with HTC, RIM or Viewsonic.

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"We have already licensed our standards-essential patents to more than 40 companies. Though we'd prefer to avoid litigation, Nokia had to file these actions to end the unauthorised use of our proprietary innovations and technologies, which have not been widely licensed."

The company said that the innovations allegedly infringed include dual-function antennas, power management and multimode radios, as well as functions to enhance software features including application stores, multitasking, navigation, conversational message display, dynamic menus, data encryption and retrieval of email attachments on a mobile device.

"Many of these inventions are fundamental to Nokia products," Pentland added.

"We'd rather that other companies respect our intellectual property and compete using their own innovations, but as these actions show, we will not tolerate the unauthorised use of our inventions."

Pentland's claim that the firm would prefer to avoid litigation suggests that Nokia would settle the dispute out of court.

This action from Nokia comes as large companies are increasingly buying up patents with a view to bringing legal action against rivals.

Microsoft recently spent $1bn (£600m) buying patents from AOL, many of which it then sold on to Facebook.

Google acquired 17,000 patents last year when it bought Motorola Mobility for £7.7bn, and around the same time, Microsoft teamed up with Apple and BlackBerry manufacturer RIM, among others, to acquire Nortel's 6,000 patents for £2.8bn.

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