Nokia-Apple Suit Latest in Dizzying Array of Court Battles
Nokia's new lawsuit against Apple, filed
If all the name calling and legal barbs that have been flying around have your head spinning, here's a quick guide to sort things out:
Nokia vs. Apple/Apple vs. Nokia
Nokia's latest filing against Apple, made in May, charges Apple with infringing upon patents related to speech enhancement and data transmission technologies. The infringement, according to Nokia, involves techniques for data positioning in apps as well as antenna setups used to conserve space in compact handhelds.
Nokia really got the action started in October by filing a suit against Apple in federal court
Apple fired back in December, accusing Nokia of allegedly infringing on 13 of its patents and pointedly told Nokia that "other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours." Apple also accused Nokia of antitrust violations and deceptive practices in terms of revealing its intellectual property rights.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is also investigating each company's claims against the other.
Family of author Philip K. Dick vs. Google
Author Philip K. Dick's estate said in January it would sue Google for allegedly swiping the names "Android" and "Nexus One" from Dick's 1968 novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" -- which later morphed into the movie Blade Runner. "Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later," Dick's daughter Isa is quoted as saying in The Telegraph.
Google, which denies infringing on the Dick family's intellectual property introduced its Android-based Nexus One phone at CES in January.
Kodak vs. Apple and RIM
Kodak in January filed a lawsuit with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple and RIM for allegedly infringing on patents related to digital imaging technology.
Motorola vs. Research in Motion
Patent litigation between Motorola and Research In Motion heated up in January, with Motorola filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that RIM engages in unfair trade practices by importing and selling products that infringe five Motorola patents. The patents cover technologies related to Wi-Fi access, application management, user interface and power management, Motorola said.
Motorola is asking the ITC to investigate RIM and bar the company from importing, marketing and selling products in the U.S. that use the technologies. The companies have been engaged in patent infringement suits dating back to early 2008. RIM declined to comment on Motorola's filing with the ITC.
Apple vs. HTC
Apple filed a patent infringement lawsuit at the start of March against HTC, claiming that the Taiwanese company is infringing 20 Apple patents are related to the iPhone user interface and the smartphone's underlying architecture and hardware. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware and with the U.S. International Trade Commission.
The suit is seen by many as more a case of Apple vs. Google and even Microsoft than Apple vs. HTC.
Network World sister organizations IDG News Service and PC World contributed to this article
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