Nokia expands patent dispute beyond Apple iPhone

December 29, 2009

(AP) -- Nokia Corp. is broadening a legal dispute it already has with Apple Inc. over the iPhone, saying almost all of the company's other products also violate the Finnish phone maker's patents.

Nokia said Tuesday that it has filed a complaint against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging Apple's iPhone, iPods and computers all violate Nokia's intellectual property rights.

At issue are key features found in Apple products, including aspects of user interface, cameras, antenna and power management technologies, Nokia said. The company claims that the technologies in question help cut manufacturing costs, reduce gadget size and prolong battery life.

A household name in Asia and Europe, Nokia is a smaller player in the United States, where its smart phones face tough competition from Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry devices. Nokia, the world's largest cell phone maker, has cautioned that its own market share volume, currently at some 38 percent, would be flat next year.

The company, which is based in Espoo, Finland, has already sued Apple over the massively popular iPhone, claiming it infringes on 10 of its patents related to phone calls and Wi-Fi access.

Apple has denied the charges and this month countered with its own lawsuit, saying Nokia has copied aspects of the iPhone in its devices. Apple claims Nokia is violating its patent rights on technology for connecting phones to computers, teleconferencing and touch-screen menus, among other things.

Apple, which has its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

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