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Nokia amps up patent battle with Apple

Apple iPhone 4

The patent feud between technology giants Apple and Nokia continues to escalate, with Nokia announcing today that it has filed new patent infringement claims against Apple in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Further, Nokia is expanding the list of patents it claims Apple is infringing upon, adding another 13 patents to the previous 24 already cited in infringement claims filed in the United States and with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“The Nokia inventions protected by these patents include several which enable compelling user experiences,” said Nokia’s VP for intellectual property Paul Melin, in a statement. “For example, using a wiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content, or enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store, both filed more than ten years before the launch of the iPhone.”

Nokia’s new UK filing covers four patents, while the case in the Netherlands covers two. Nokia has filed two infringement cases against Apple in Germany: on in Mannheim covering five patents, and another in Dusseldorf covering seven.

Apple has had no comment on the new suits.

Nokia filed its first infringement claims against Apple over a year ago in the United States. Since then the companies have engaged in a tit-for-tat game of one-upsmanship: Apple quickly countersued against Nokia’s initial claims; Nokia extended its suits to pull in more technology in the iPhone and iPad, and Apple extended its counter-litigation to the United Kingdom. Patent battles often take a notoriously long time to resolve, and its often in companies’ interest to continue raising the stakes in hopes an opponent will give in to a settlement rather than take a chance on a court battle. Nokia won an early round of proceedings—the U.S. International Trade Commission found that Apple hadn’t established Nokia was infringing on its patents strongly enough to justify an import injunction—but, sadly, the fight is still in its early stages.

The mobile world is involved in a rash of high-stakes litigation as companies jockey for favorable positions: Apple is also suing HTC in a fight that’s largely seeing as being about Google’s Android operating system (HTC countersued); Apple and Motorola are also suing (and countersuing) each other, and Microsoft and Motorola are also in a back and forth tussle. Sometimes things work out, however: last June, RIM and Motorola settled a patent dispute without going to court—although RIM wound up paying Motorola an undisclosed amount.

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