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US judge puts freeze on Apple-Nokia patent kerfuffle

Let the feds sort it

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A US federal judge has sent Apple and Nokia lawyers to their respective corners until the feds get their chance to sort through the competing patent infringement claims.

US District Court in Delaware signed an order staying litigation, pending decisions by the US International Trade Commission on the matter.

Nokia sued Apple in the court in October 2009 over the alleged violation of ten patents used for the iPhone. The handset maker inferred it had approached Cupertino with licensing terms but was turned out.

"By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation," the company's IP veep Ilkka Rahnasto stated back in 2009.

Apple responded in turn with a countersuit alleging that Nokia is infringing 13 of Apple's patents. Not to be outdone in patent numbers, Nokia added seven additional patents to its legal claims.

By early 2010, the USITC announced it had begun investigations on both Apple and Nokia based on complaints filed against one another.

Each company has denied infringement on their own part, and each accuses the other of wasting the court's time.

Apple is also suing Nexus One manufacturer HTC over alleged infringement of 20 patents, including UI and hardware as well as architectural design of handsets. ®

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