Nokia Files Lawsuits for Patent Infringement as it Seeks Much-Needed Revenue

By Ed Silverstein May 31, 2012

Nokia has filed lawsuits against Research In Motion, HTC Corp and Viewsonic Corp for alleged patent infringement, seen as a way for it to collect much-needed money from royalties until it can generate revenue from other sources. 

Altogether, there were 45 patent infringements claimed with cases related to the United States and Germany, and connected to phones and tablets, according to the lawsuit.

“We have taken this step to stop the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies which are not extensively licensed to the industry and make up the majority of our industry leading patent portfolio,” Nokia said in a statement carried on Day and Night News. “Nokia believes that other companies need to compete using their own innovations, rather than copying our proprietary technologies.”

The patents relate to dual-function antennas, multimode radios and power management. Among the software were application stores, multitasking, navigation, conversational message display, dynamic menus, data encryption and retrieval of e-mail attachments on a mobile device, according to Businessweek.

The source also reports a complaint was filed against HTC at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. The commission can stop imports of products that infringe upon U.S. patents. Nokia sued HTC and ViewSonic in Delaware federal court, and each of the companies was named in the lawsuits filed in Germany.

Six of the patents highlighted in the new lawsuits were also named in prior lawsuits Nokia brought against Apple, Inc. Apple said last year it would pay both a payment and royalties to Nokia to settle that litigation.

RIM had no comment on the new lawsuit. HTC delayed issuing any comments. ViewSonic told Businessweek it was “taking appropriate measures to protect our interests. Though we’d prefer to avoid litigation, Nokia had to file these actions to end the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies, which have not been widely licensed.”

In the longer run, Nokia hopes it will see increases in revenue as it shifts from the Symbian operating system to Microsoft's Windows Phone, according to The Guardian. Nokia has seen lower shares of the market, while its patents remain valuable. 

The source reports that analysts predict Nokia may soon file lawsuits against Chinese and Indian companies, and Amazon. Amazon’s Kindle Fire employs the Android operating system.

Earlier this month, The Guardian reported that Standard & Poor's and Fitch’s Ratings lowered those of Nokia to "junk" level. Samsung Electronics is now the most popular producer of cell phones, according to a new industry study from IHS. The firm surpassed Nokia in Q1 this year.

When it comes to smartphones, Apple posted top in the quarter followed by Samsung, which captured second place.

According to a report from IHS iSuppli, in the Q1 Samsung shipped 92 million cell phones. Nokia shipped 83 million cell phones during the same quarter. It is the first quarter since 1998 that Nokia does not have the top spot for cell phone sales worldwide, TechZone360 reported citing data from IHS.

Royalties at Nokia are expected to reach $658 million per year, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Timo Ihamuotila was quoted by Businessweek.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

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