Nokia takes Apple to court, again
This time it's Wisconsin
Nokia, not content with the pair of existing patent actions in Delaware, has filed another action for five patent infringements. This time it's in Wisconsin, presumably for variety.
These patents cover speech codecs, data transmission, the use of location information in applications and compact-antenna designs, all of which Nokia claims are infringed by the iPhone and iPad 3G.
Given the iPad's lack of speech capability we're guessing it might be not be included in that specific infringement, though we wouldn't put it past Nokia to have a punt anyway.
The details of the allegedly infringing patents aren't known, and nor is it clear why the Finns have decided to move the action to Wisconsin. Such actions traditionally take place in Texas, where juries respect the rights of the patent holder, but the popularity of Texan courts has led some companies to Delaware - "Delaware is the new Texas" as one patent attorney put it to us.
Which makes Wisconsin even more unlikely - unless patent actions are just going to spread, from state to state, until the entire US legal system is consumed in one almighty patent action. ®
No surprise about Wisconsin
The Western District of Wisconsin has for years been a "magnet" jurisdiction, just like the Eastern District of Texas, because of the traditionally plaintiff-friendly juries in that district. Unfortunately for Nokia, recent Federal appeals court decisions make it easier for the defendant to transfer the case to a court more favourable to them (perhaps effectively signalling an end to "magnet" jurisdictions). If Apple can show "good cause" (e.g. key witnesses are in a different geographical area), and that its proposed forum is "clearly more convenient," then the case will likely be transferred (to the less-plaintiff-friendly Northern District of California, for instance).