Mobile technology giants Nokia and Apple have a contentious history with each other and often go head-to-head over what company has the lawful rights to everything from handset design to software. The companies’ latest fight is being played out in European and American courts as Apple and Nokia both levy accusations at each other over patent and technology sharing. The outcome of their latest battle also is set to have a major impact on the mobile tech industry across the globe.
The Background of the Apple and Nokia Contention
The basis of the latest lawsuit between the two mobile giants revolves around the question of whether or not Apple is infringing on patents owned by Nokia. Nokia argues that Apple has infringed on 32 different patents that cover everything from software and video coding to user interfaces.
Apple returned the proverbial fire by saying that Nokia agreed to share the technology behind the patents and is itself violating a contract between the two that exists under a fair and reasonable term agreement that has been in use for years. Apple also called Nokia a patent troll in the lawsuit and claims that it has the right to use the innovations behind the patents without expectation of legal or financial reprisal.
Apple further alleges that the underlying reason for the lawsuit centers on Nokia’s waning influence in the industry and the fact that it was recently knocked off its proverbial throne as the top reigning mobile technology company in the world. Apple says that since Nokia sold the right to its handsets and devices in favor of breaking into the mobile software industry that Nokia has suffered great losses to both its bottom line and reputation. It seeks to restore both through this lawsuit.
Nokia filed suit in both European and American courts. The courts have yet to render a decision regarding the matter between Apple and Nokia. However, when they do announce their verdicts, they could impact the way that mobile technology businesses do business with each other in the future.
The Impact of the Apple and Nokia Decision on the Mobile Technology Industry
The impact of the Apple and Nokia decision has the possibility of changing the way that mobile companies do business with each other as well as their consumer bases. Many companies in this industry rely on each other to share within reason the technology behind their patents. Many like Apple and Nokia typically enter into FRAND agreements with each other so that they benefit from the technology without detracting from the credit and profit of the technology’s inventor.
However, if the court sides with Nokia, they could change the way that companies reach FRAND agreements with each other if they reach any agreements with each other at all. Companies may be reluctant to share technology with each other, which in turn could shortchange consumers or even more alarming raise the cost of the products and services they want to buy from their preferred mobile provider. Nonetheless, consumers and industry watchers also expect the courts to safeguard the rights of companies that have rightfully obtained the patents to the technology they invent.
What Happens Now with Apple and Nokia?
Apple and Nokia continue to go up against each other as they debate who has the right to patents and technology that shape the mobile device market. The European and American courts in which the most recent lawsuits have been filed have yet to render verdicts. Industry watchers and consumers alike remain on edge over what decision will be reached and what impact the verdict will have on how and at what price they will be able to purchase this technology in the future.
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