In late 2009, cell phone manufacturer Nokia filed a claim against Apple claiming that the iPhone infringed on ten of Nokia’s patents. Over time, countersuits between the two companies expanded the disputed claims to 75 different patents in multiple countries.
Well, the nearly two year long legal tug-of-war has finally ended – with Nokia coming out the victor. Apple will pay an undisclosed lump sum, plus ongoing royalties as part of the licensing agreement for the Nokia patents they’re utilizing in the iPhone.
However, this may not be as big a blow to Apple as it initially appears. Aside from the obvious fact that Apple’s legal resources are now freed up for other patent litigation issues, there is one other concept that’s now in play: a legal precedent has been set, which means Nokia may be able pursue other targets.
Many Android-based phones may become the focus the same question: “Does phone XXX infringe on Nokia’s patents?” Considering that few, if any, of those manufacturers have quite as deep pockets as Apple does, this could be a huge blow to the Android platform, should Nokia pursue similar litigation. It will be interesting to find out if this settlement, in turn, may wind up helping Apple over time.
Mixed reactions from our panel on the announcements made by Apple at WWDC last week, from excitement to disappointment, fuel the discussions on this month’s episode. Topics include iCloud, iOS5, OS X Lion, iTunes Match, Mac Defender, AT&T’s 4G LTE network, the Apple / Nokia patent settlement and more.
OWC Radio is a monthly, forum-based podcast focused on the events and happenings in the Mac community. This week’s hosts are: OWC Grant, OWC Chris S., and OWC Mike H. Article Continues…
Usually, speculating about patents and prototypes before they’re announced—especially with Apple—winds up proving fruitless (no pun intended). However, a couple of days ago, Patently Apple, who follows such things, reported on one potential device that we couldn’t resist talking about.
This particular patent, submitted in January, appears to be for an iMac with an ability to switch between OS X and iOS, depending on how the screen is oriented and/or gripped.
Naturally, there are pros and cons to this, so we got some brief reactions from various staffers here at OWC to see what they thought:
- “kinda like a stationary iPad…but with more power and functionality (dual OSs)” – OWC Grant
- “Don’t need it, unless it’s iOS4 or make a bigger version of the current iPad…the Super iPad.” – OWC Mike H.
- “I can’t wait to find my three-year-old on my desk shaking my iMac back and forth playing Doodle Jump… of course, I would probably be next in line.” – OWC Erik
- “This would be a great start if Apple is trying to compete with PC in the retail marketplace. Touchscreen computers make for excellent POS terminals, interactive sales displays, and the like.” – OWC Michael
- “Just what I want—a 27-inch iMac screen with fingerprints all over it… The adjustable display stand is cool though.” – OWC Chris S.
- “Sales of microfiber cloths are about to go through the roof.” – OWC Jamie
Of course, all this is mere speculation based off of a patent. As we have seen several times in the past, just because Apple patents something doesn’t mean that it’ll ever see the light of day.
It would be kind of neat if it did though…wouldn’t it?