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Nokia cries patent 'Havoc!', unleashes dogs of law on two continents

HTC, RIM and Viewsonic face slavering Finnish pack

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Nokia has filed suit against HTC, Research in Motion and Viewsonic in two different countries all in one day.

The Finnish phone firm announced today that it had filed claims in both the US and Germany alleging that products from the three firms infringed on a number of its patents.

"Nokia is a leader in many technologies needed for great mobile products," Louise Pentland, chief legal officer at Nokia, said in a canned statement. "We have already licensed our standards essential patents to more than 40 companies.

"Though we'd prefer to avoid litigation, Nokia had to file these actions to end the unauthorised use of our proprietary innovations and technologies, which have not been widely licensed."

The mobile maker kicked things off with a complaint to the US' International Trade Commission, which can ban the import of patent-infringing products, about HTC. The Taiwanese company also features in a suit filed in court in Delaware and a case started in Dusseldorf court.

Nokia is also suing Viewsonic in Delaware and taking RIM to court in Dusseldorf and has launched a suit at all three companies in the courts of Mannheim and Munich.

The firm is citing 45 of its patents in total against the companies, which deal with dual function antennas, power management, multimode radios, app stores, navigation and data encryption amongst other functions.

"Many of these inventions are fundamental to Nokia products," Pentland claimed. "We'd rather that other companies respect our intellectual property and compete using their own innovations, but as these actions show, we will not tolerate the unauthorised use of our inventions."

As its popularity in the mobile market has waned, Nokia has been staying afloat with the help of sizeable revenues from royalties for its intellectual property. As one of the old-guard handset makers, it holds a lot of cards in the patent game that modern smartphone manufacturers still need. ®

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