In case you haven’t heard already, software patents are terrible. That being said, it certainly won’t stop companies like Nokia and Apple from going on a finger-pointing field day against competitors in court. This time around Nokia is continuing a slew of patents against Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC, and it’s starting to look like a bad case of déjà vu.
If you lost count, the number of recent patent lawsuits, we don’t blame you. Just last month Nokia filed several lawsuits in Germany and The Netherlands against HTC for a number of various patent violations. Here in America, the latest patent lawsuit is circling around an apparent violation of three different patents that pertain to a “terminal, method and computer program product for interacting with a signaling tag.” While this may sound about one of the vaguest patents ever – or perhaps some sort of computer-beacon – it’s the latest way Nokia hopes to intimidate HTC with the power of the legal system.
What’s a little comical about this is that Nokia already sued HTC less than a year ago over other patent complaints. The reason why Nokia is doing this simple: to make some settlement cash as quickly as possible. It’s what Apple did with HTC while it was on the warpath against Samsung last year, and Nokia is continuing its litigation efforts to show a little more money to stockholders in the coming months. It’s also what Nokia is doing as a way to utilize the sheer massive number of vague, abstract software patents the Finnish phone-maker holds.
Unfortunately, this style of litigation is just starting as phone manufacturers turn to dirty tactics to compete against one another, and it’s really just beginning. All it does is push costs to the consumer and reveal a serious fault in American and European patent law.