SAN FRANCISCONokia Tuesday (Dec. 29) said it filed a complaint against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), alleging infringement of patents in "virtually all" Apple cellphones, portable music players and computers.
The ITC complaint escalates a legal fight between the companies, which have become heated rivals, particularly in the smartphone market, where Apple's iPhone continues to dominate.
Nokia (Espoo, Finland) sued Apple Oct. 23 in U.S. District Court for Delaware, alleging that Apple's iPhone infringes Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and WLAN standards. Apple responded Dec. 11 with a countersuit claiming that Nokia is infringing 13 Apple patents.
Nokia said Tuesday that the seven patents involved in the ITC complaint relate to Nokia innovations that are allegedly being used by Apple to create key features in its products in the area of user interface, as well as camera, antenna and power management technologies.
In a statement, Paul Melin, general manager of patent licensing at Nokia, said that while the Delaware litigation relates to Apple's attempt to "free-ride" on Nokia's investment in wireless standards, the ITC complaint accuses Apple of building its business on Nokia's proprietary innovation.
Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday's ITC complaint. At the time of the Apple countersuit on Dec. 11, Bruce Sewell, Apple's general counsel and senior vice president, said though a statement: "Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours."
Spokespersons for Nokia could not immediately be reached for comment. The Reuters news service reported Tuesday that a spokesperson for Nokia said the company expects the ITC to decide whether to investigate the complaint in approximately 30 days. Reuters also reported that any possible injunction against the sale of Apple products related to the alleged patent infringement would not happen until 2011.