Feature Article

June 05, 2012

Nokia Files Lawsuits for Patent Infringement as It Looks for Much-Needed Revenue

Nokia has filed lawsuits against Research In Motion, HTC Corp and Viewsonic Corp for alleged patent infringement – which is seen as a way for it to collect much-needed money from royalties until it can generate revenue from other sources. All together, there were 45 patent infringements claimed with cases related to the United States and Germany, connected to phones and tablets, according to the lawsuit.

“We have taken this step to stop the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies which are not extensively licensed to the industry and make up the majority of our industry leading patent portfolio,” Nokia said in a statement. “Nokia believes that other companies need to compete using their own innovations, rather than copying our proprietary technologies.”

The patents relate to dual-function antennas, multimode radios and power management. Among the software were application stores, multitasking, navigation, conversational message display, dynamic menus, data encryption and retrieval of e-mail attachments on a mobile device, according to reports.

A complaint was filed against HTC at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. The commission can stop imports of products that infringe upon U.S. patents. Nokia sued HTC and ViewSonic in Delaware federal court. In addition, the companies were named in the lawsuits filed in Germany.

It was also noted by the news report that six of the patents highlighted in the new lawsuits were named in prior lawsuits Nokia brought against Apple Inc. Apple last year said it would pay both a payment and royalties to Nokia to settle that litigation.

RIM had no comment on the new lawsuit. HTC delayed issuing any comments on the suit. ViewSonic told Businessweek it was “taking appropriate measures to protect our interests.”

“Though we’d prefer to avoid litigation, Nokia had to file these actions to end the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies, which have not been widely licensed,” Nokia said in a statement.

In the longer run, Nokia is hoping it will get increased revenue as it shifts from the Symbian operating system to Microsoft's Windows Phone. Nokia has seen lower shares of the market, while its patents remain valuable. Reports also state that analysts are predicting Nokia may soon file lawsuits against Chinese and Indian companies, and Amazon. Amazon’s Kindle Fire employs the Android operating system.

Earlier this month, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings lowered ratings on Nokia to "junk" level. Samsung Electronics is now the most popular producer of cell phones, according to a new industry study from IHS. Samsung surpassed Nokia Corp. in the Q1. When it comes to smartphones, Apple posted top in the quarter followed by Samsung, which captured second place.

Royalties at Nokia are expected to reach $658 million per year, the company’s chief financial officer, Timo Ihamuotila stated.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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