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Third Nokia lawsuit accuses Apple of multiple patent violations


Nokia has filed a another lawsuit against Apple, with a new federal complaint that alleges the Cupertino, Calif., company has infringed on several "implementation patents," the same cited in an ITC suit filed last week.

Filed in a federal court in Delaware, the complaint alleges that a number of Apple's products have violated patents owned by Nokia. Specifically named in the suit are the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch, iPod nano, iPod classic, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

Patents owned by Nokia named in the suit are "VCO with Programmable Output Power," issued in 2004; "Mobile Communication Device and Related Construction Method," issued in 2004; "Optimized Camera Sensor Architecture for a Mobile Telephone," granted in 2005; "Communications Device with Touch Sensitive Screen," from 2003; "Mobile Station with Touch Input Having Automatic Symbol Magnification Function," issued in 2000; "Utilizing the Contents of a Message," granted in 2001; and "User Interface Device," from 2005.

The complaint filed last week is the third from Nokia against Apple. Also last week, a lawsuit was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in which it has asked that imports of Apple products — including the iPhone, iPods, and MacBooks — be banned.

The ITC complaint accuses Apple of treading on seven distinct patents applying to user interface, camera, antenna and power management. The ITC suit covers the same patents included in the Delaware federal suit.

In October, Nokia first sued Apple over the use of patented wireless standards. The lawsuit alleged that Apple infringes on GSM and wireless LAN related patents owned by Nokia with the iPhone.

In December, Apple countersued Nokia, alleging that the Finnish company infringed on 13 patents. Apple also accused Nokia of attempting to obtain more money from it than other companies, plus rights to Apple's intellectual property.

As Nokia has lost market share to competitors Apple and Research in Motion, the market leader has fought back and hopes to maintain its position atop the cell phone business. This week, Rick Simonson, Nokia's executive vice president, spoke with India's The Economic Times and said his company hopes to be "at par" with Apple and RIM in smartphone sales by 2011.

"Not only we draw level with them," he said, "we will also win the war because, in addition to email, we will be adding content, chat, music, entertainment and several other features, which will soon become very critical for success of any company in this space."