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Nokia accuses rivals of ripping off designs, patents

Lawsuits target Sagem, Vitelcom

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Nokia today initiated legal action against French handset maker Sagem and Spanish phone manufacturer Vitelcom, alleging both have infringed its intellectual property and trade-dress rights.

Nokia's action against Sagem centres on allegations that the French company has essentially ripped off its styling with the Sagem X5-2 handset, which certainly has something of the Nokia 8310 and the 6600 about it.

The Sagem X5-2 and the Nokia 8310

The Finnish company is seeking not only a ban on the sale of the X5-2 but also unspecified monetary damages from its competitor.

It also wants cold hard cash - again, unspecified - from Vitelcom, which it accuses of stealing its GSM and GPRS technology, protected by patents.

The lawsuits mark a shift in Nokia's approach to competition. The Sagem and Vitelcom actions are the believed to be the first such brought by the phone maker against rival designs that come close to its own.

Back in the late 1990s Apple initiated a series of similar suits against companies it accused of ripping off the novel two-tone coloured casign of the original all-in-one iMac. Its targets eventually settled out of court. ®

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