Yesterday, Nokia filed a lawsuit against Apple in Germany and the U.S., accusing the iPhone maker of infringing on its patents. In response, Apple has also filed an antitrust lawsuit against Acacia Research Corporation and Conversant Intellectual Property Management, alleging that the two patent assertion entities have colluded with Nokia, in an attempt to collect excessive fees for its patents from Apple and other companies.
According to The Register, Acacia and its subsidiaries have sued Apple more than 40 times in the US and abroad, while Conversant and its subsidiaries have sued Apple more than two dozen times. Out of these, nearly a dozen have been based on Nokia patents. In its complaint, Apple argues that in supporting Acacia’s and Conversant’s patent claims, Nokia has violated commitments made to license standard essential patents (SEPs) under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
“Unable to compete with innovative companies such as Apple – which had developed a revolutionary hardware and software platform – Nokia quickly transformed itself,” the complaint says. “It changed from a company focused on supplying cell phones and other consumer products to a company bent on exploiting the patents that remain from its years as a successful cell phone supplier.”
Apple contends that Nokia has enlisted the defendant companies to sue it because they produce nothing, thereby limiting the potential for counterclaims, and because they benefit from the asymmetry in discovery and related litigation costs.
Meanwhile, a new Reuters report says that Nokia has today filed a new set of patent lawsuits against Apple in Asia, Europe and the U.S., accusing the Cupertino tech giant of violating 32 technology patents. Nokia claims it has filed a total of 40 patents suits in 11 countries.