Categories: Global Tech News

Apple Gears Up for Legal Battle Against Nokia

Apple is gearing up for a massive legal battle against mobile phone industry heavyweight Nokia. Nokia is the largest phone market in the world while Apple has one of the most popular and profitable smartphones in the world with its iPhone.

The legal storm has been brewing for months and Apple is gearing up by retaining some of the best IP lawyers in the country to fight Nokia. Bloomberg reports that since 2008 Apple has been the most sued technology firm in the world. The legal team Apple has put together has been responsible for winning some of the biggest patent suits in the technology world.

Nokia sued Apple in October of 2009 alleging that Apple was infringing on several of its patents. Apple filed a countersuit of its own alleging the same thing. Apple claimed at the time the goal in the Nokia suit was to get Apple to turn over proprietary technology that sets the iPhone apart from the other smartphones on the market. Nokia denies the charges.

Attorney Lyle Vander Schaaf, who has handled IP cases before the ITC before says, “These are very well-known, deep-pocketed, high-end manufacturers. Usually you have one 800-pound gorilla going after a new entrant. Here you’ve got 800-pound gorillas fighting each other.”

In addition to bringing in outside legal assets to fight the suit, Apple also has a new in-house attorney that specializes in IP, Noreen Krall. Krall was chief IP counsel for Sun Micrososystems and a staff IP attorney for IBM in the past. The other legal assets Apple has called in included Robert Krupa from Kirkland & Ellis. Krupa negotiated the settlement between Apple and Creative Technology in 2005 that had Apple pay $100 million to Creative.

William Lee from WilmerHale represented Broadcom Corp. in the legal fight against Qualcomm is part of the team. Apple also has Matt Powers from Weil, Gotshal, & Manges LLP that represented pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co in a patent case over its drug Singulair. Most expect the outcome of this suit to be a settlement between Apple and Nokia to license each other’s tech. Rob Enderle from Enderle Group said, “It’s [the legal battle] going to get a lot worse before it gets better.”

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