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Apple's iPhone is at the center of Nokia suit  (Source: Apple)
Apple hires some of the best IP attorneys in the country

Apple is gearing up for a massive legal battle against mobile phone industry heavyweight Nokia. Nokia is the largest phone market in the world while Apple has one of the most popular and profitable smartphones in the world with its iPhone.

The legal storm has been brewing for months and Apple is gearing up by retaining some of the best IP lawyers in the country to fight Nokia. 
Bloomberg reports that since 2008 Apple has been the most sued technology firm in the world. The legal team Apple has put together has been responsible for winning some of the biggest patent suits in the technology world.

Nokia sued Apple in October of 2009 alleging that Apple was infringing on several of its patents. Apple filed a countersuit of its own alleging the same thing. Apple claimed at the time the goal in the Nokia suit was to get Apple to turn over proprietary technology that sets the iPhone apart from the other smartphones on the market. Nokia denies the charges.

Attorney Lyle Vander Schaaf, who has handled IP cases before the ITC before says, "These are very well-known, deep-pocketed, high-end manufacturers. Usually you have one 800-pound gorilla going after a new entrant. Here you’ve got 800-pound gorillas fighting each other."

In addition to bringing in outside legal assets to fight the suit, Apple also has a new in-house attorney that specializes in IP, Noreen Krall. Krall was chief IP counsel for Sun Micrososystems and a staff IP attorney for IBM in the past. The other legal assets Apple has called in included Robert Krupa from Kirkland & Ellis. Krupa negotiated the settlement between Apple and Creative Technology in 2005 that had Apple pay $100 million to Creative.

William Lee from WilmerHale represented Broadcom Corp. in the legal fight against Qualcomm is part of the team. Apple also has Matt Powers from Weil, Gotshal, & Manges LLP that represented pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co in a patent case over its drug Singulair. Most expect the outcome of this suit to be a settlement between Apple and Nokia to license each other's tech. Rob Enderle from Enderle Group said, "It’s [the legal battle] going to get a lot worse before it gets better."



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RE: Hmm.
By ltcommanderdata on 11/29/2010 12:40:22 PM , Rating: -1
Yes clearly Apple has been useless in working with VLSI and Acorn to develop the ARM architecture used by most mobile and embedded devices today. And they should never have worked with IBM and Motorola to develop the PowerPC architecture that powers all three current gaming consoles. Similarly with their efforts on WebKit that they continue to support even though it's used by all their mobile competitors including Google, Nokia, and RIM. I'm sure AMD wouldn't mind if Apple never developed Mini DisplayPort that AMD uses in their Eyefinity graphics card or that Apple never developed OpenCL and then pushed it to the Khronos Group for ratification as a broad alternative to nVidia's CUDA dominance of GPGPU. Or Apple's support for LLVM, which is a key part of OpenCL among other things, or development of Firewire used by audio/video professionals and military aircraft.

Clearly Apple is a company like any other out to make money, but it's hard to believe that they haven't made a large impact in technology beyond being just another tech company.


RE: Hmm.
By inighthawki on 11/29/2010 1:19:46 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is not that they helped with good technology, but that they try to take credit for things they either didn't do or didn't do first, then sue the big companies for infringing on their patents which should have never been passed through in the first place.


RE: Hmm.
By reader1 on 11/29/2010 7:26:32 PM , Rating: 3
Apple innvented everything, including multi-touch, the mouse, and douche-baggery.

- Artie MacStrawman


RE: Hmm.
By jhb116 on 11/29/2010 10:21:36 PM , Rating: 3
agreed - I give them credit for taking existing tech and putting together a good form factor.

I'm glad they are getting their dues. Anyone remember when apple sued some small company that built a cube shaped PC because it looked like the cubed shaped G4? Don't see many of those anymore either. Or how about the time they sued another PC manufacturer (emachines?) over color. It is about time what goes around comes around.....


RE: Hmm.
By omnicronx on 11/29/2010 1:51:19 PM , Rating: 5
While I would tend to agree with your statements as a whole, most of what you have named are not solely Apple innovations. They are perhaps Apple backed and implemented by Apple first, but Apple inventions they are not.

For example they were a big part of ARM(they were pushing it for their Newton devices) but were hardly the inventors of the technology. PPC falls under the same boat, especially when you consider how closely tied it is to ARM in the first place (and much of the work fell on IBM's shoulders).

Webkit is also not really 'theirs', it started as a forked version of Konqueror from KDE as it was lightweight and fast.

OpenCL is similar, although Apple is by far the biggest contributor to the project.

Funny you mention ARM though, as this was one of their biggest screw ups in history if you look at their situation as of today. Most people don't know this but until 1998, Apple had by far the largest amount of shares in the company. Just think of the advantage Apple would have in the market today if it owned the largest chunk of ARM. They could have potentially had a piece of the pie of every smartphone sold..

Apple tends to find great ideas, implement them and make them better. While you cannot take away from what they have given to the industry, they have hardly been 'true innovators' over the years, they just have a great knack at knowing when a product or piece of technology is ready for primetime. Sometimes that can be more valuable than the innovation itself.. I great idea can be rendered useless if notimplemented properly.


RE: Hmm.
By rudy on 11/29/2010 5:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Timing is important but apple is not that good at timing either. They have had mostly failed products mostly released at the wrong time. But the few they have got right have been hugely profitable because apple knows very well how to market.

Just look at this in a law suit apples marketing team is already at work this whole article was all about how GREAT apple is how they have hired the BEST attorneys and how CLEARLY nokia is only doing this because they need to figure out how apple makes such AMAZING products and nokia has no idea what makes the iphone work so amazingly well.

Ya right. But hey the right people will eat it up.

Meanwhile nokia has no clue how to market they have done nothing to publicize the details that would help their image or bend the truth / lie to look better.


RE: Hmm.
By omnicronx on 11/29/2010 6:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think Nokia wants to market their products like Apple? Any way you want to put it, Apple is a niche.. Meanwhile Nokia still holds a 50%+ dominant share in the cell phone market.

Apple at its very best will never come anywhere close to what Nokia is at now/where they were at because of the way they do business.

Not everyone can, nor would everyone want to market their products like Apple.. (i.e a fraction of the total market)

Now of course this does not take into account the fact the niche in which they have chosen has by far the highest profit margins.. but not everyone can/want to play in the same sandbox :)


RE: Hmm.
By niva on 11/29/2010 10:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Nokia holds a huge share of the market still, BUT they are rapidly losing it and falling behind. They basically hold Europe's market right now, but even if they sell more phones at this stage they're not making the profit like Apple. Because of Apple's retarded business practices they'll probably never be #1 in that market worldwide but Google will probably take Nokia down at some point unless Nokia manages a good comeback with their future smartphones and MEEGO. The chips are stacked big time against Nokia in the cell phone market because they've lost momentum badly and Apple's iPhone was simply the start of the wave that's taking over the market. I also wouldn't write Microsoft off at this stage. IMO Microsoft has a much better chance of weathering this storm than Nokia does and possibly making a comeback in the future. Microsoft is playing in the same sandbox with Apple, Google and Nokia are playing in their own sandbox which is much bigger at this stage.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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