Feeds

Yet another iPhone patent lawsuit

Nokia proxy puts Cupertino in the crosshairs, Redmond on the spot

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A Luxembourg company called Core Wireless has launched a patent lawsuit against Apple, claiming that its patents, which cover communication protocols, are breached by any device that uses 2G, 3G or 4G standards.

The suit, which was filed in the Eastern Texas District on February 29 before Justice Leonard Davis, is based on a portfolio of 2,000 patents assembled by Core Wireless from Nokia. Its lawsuit alleges infringement of eight of these patents, which Core Wireless says are “fundamental” to cellular technology.

Core Wireless is a patent hoarder. Last year, it was acquired by another hoarder, Mosaid Technologies, which itself was bought by Sterling Partners. The sale agreement allows the company to keep one-third of the income it generates from enforcing the patents, with the remainder returned to the original filers.

However, since the lawsuit covers basic cellular technologies, it probably raises an interesting issue for another company with an interest in the Nokia patents: Microsoft.

Although Mosaid’s acquisition announcement didn’t mention Redmond, while fending off a takeover attempt last year by Wi-LAN Inc, Mosaid named Microsoft as a royalty recipient in its deal with Nokia.

While Nokia has form in suing Apple – last June, Cupertino paid an undisclosed sum to settle a dispute running since 2009 – Microsoft has been trying to paint itself as a patent “good guy”.

In 2010, Microsoft asked a US court to slap Motorola for refusing FRAND (fair reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing for its patents. Last month, Redmond took its complaints to the European Commission.

However, even if the lawsuit isn’t welcome in Microsoft’s PR operation, it’s inevitable, since the terms on which Core Wireless holds the patents demand that it pursue them. Core Wireless isn’t only obliged to return two-thirds of what it reaps in lawsuits to Nokia and Microsoft: it’s also subject to performance requirements to keep the deal intact.

Microsoft has told The Register it has only a passive interest in Core Wireless.

“Last year, Nokia sold patents to Mosaid. We paid for a license to those patents. As part of that transaction, we also received a passive financial interest in future revenue generated by Mosaid from the licensing of those patents to others,” a Microsoft spokesperson told El Reg

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.