The trend of tech companies filing lawsuits against each other has become increasingly common. Perhaps this is because of the blurring lines of division in the tech world, so that the patents are infringed without being realized. Nokia, as if to pitch in with its contribution, has now filed suits against HTC, RIM and ViewSonic, alleging violation of its patents by these companies.
The company has filed a complain with the U.S. International Trade Commission against HTC. It has also filed suits against the three companies at a number of other regions and courts.
According to Nokia, some 45 patents in total, owned by Nokia, have been violated by the three companies. The patents that have been violated primarily deal with power management of mobile devices, dual-function antennas and a number of in-device features such as navigation, emails etc.
However, it would seem that things are not so clearly in white and black. HTC has now claimed that it has been licensed the wireless patents since 2003, “HTC has been a licensee of Nokia on wireless essential patents since 2003. We are waiting to receive a complaint and won’t have any comments until our legal team has received and reviewed it.”
But Nokia is of the opinion that the patents that were in question in this case are by no means ‘essential’, essential being such patents which become industry standards and must be licensed by the owner to other companies too. According to Nokia’s spokesperson, ‘These features are not essential to any standards, and therefore these companies are perfectly capable of making devices using their own technologies. We are not seeking to exclude them completely from the market. We just want to stop illegal use.’
Royalties on its patents and earnings through such intellectual rights constitutes one of the major revenue streams for Nokia. And in view of its dithering revenue from the mobile division, it is only natural that Nokia wants to ensure it gets paid for its patents.