Updates to this story
Phone giant Nokia has just announced that it is bringing Apple to the Federal District Court over five patents it believes the iPhone makers are infringing.
Nokia says that the iPhone and iPad 3G infringe on its patents, which relate to technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, and allowing smaller and more compact devices.
That sounds rather general, which raises questions about the entire patenting process, which seems to be getting out of control. Numerous technology companies, including Apple itself, are patenting very general and vague concepts and developments, often allowing them a monopoly on the rollout of new technology.
Nokia, however, believes these patented innovations are important to its success as they allow improved product performance and design.
Paul Melin, General Manager of Patent Licensing at Nokia issued a statement saying:
“Nokia has been the leading developer of many key technologies in mobile devices. We have taken this step to protect the results of our pioneering development and to put an end to continued unlawful use of Nokia's innovation.”
Over the last 20 years Nokia has invested around €40 billion in research and development and holds a whopping 11,000 patent families in its portfolio. Apple was bound to infringe on one of those.
It seems that maybe the innovative iPhone and iPad are not all that innovative afterall.