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Apple responds to Nokia lawsuit, in kind

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Apple has filed a countersuit to Nokia's, alleging that Nokia is infringing its patents rather than the other way round.

In the suit, as reported by All Things Digital, Apple claims Nokia is infringing 13 of Apple's patents. Nokia is only claiming the iPhone infringes 10 - but the number of patents isn't important here, what matters is the amount of money that both companies are prepared to hand over to the lawyers before an agreement is reached.

It will probably will come down to some sort of out-of-court settlement, though not until a few dollars have been spent narrowing down the patents to those that can't be dismissed as obvious or irrelevant.

Nokia's patents are pretty low level: signal quality, creation and encryption of data channels and so forth. We don't have a list of Apple's patents yet but they are likely to be concerned largely with the touch interface to which the iPhone owes much of its success.

Once each company has denied infringing anything, accused each other of wasting the court's time, and handed over inordinate amounts of money to litigation lawyers, they'll decided whose pile of patents is bigger and pass over an undisclosed amount of cash.

But that's a long way off - we're only in the opening salvos of what promises to be an entertaining spectacle for 2010.

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