Espoo, Finland (Reuters): Nokia Corp (NOKIA.HE) said that it had filed a score of legal actions against Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for violating 32 technology patents, striking back at the iPhone maker's legal action targeting the one-time cellphone industry leader a day earlier.
Nokia's lawsuits, filed in courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, Germany, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, cover patents for displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets and video coding.
Nokia said in a statement, "Since agreeing a license covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple's products."
Apple on Tuesday had taken legal action against Acacia Research Corp (ACTG.O) and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc [GEGGIM.UL], accusing them of colluding with Nokia to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly from Apple.
Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock said, "We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s own inventions they had nothing to do with."
The legal action by Nokia and Apple appear to mark a revival of the smartphone patent wars that began five years ago, when Apple filed a series of patent infringement cases against Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) around the world, with wins and losses on both sides.
Nokia, once the world's dominant cellphone maker, missed out on the transition to smartphones triggered by Apple's introduction of the iPhone in 2007.
The Finnish company sold its handset business to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) two years ago, leaving it with its telecom network equipment business and a bulging portfolio of mobile equipment patents.
But this year, Microsoft sold its Nokia-feature phone business to a new company called HMD Global.
Nokia agreed to a 10-year licensing deal with HMD, which continues to market low-cost Nokia phones and plans to introduce new Nokia smartphone models next year.