The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) plans to investigate claims made by Nokia that Apple infringed on a number of its patents, according to a new report out of Reuters. At the moment, there are no details beyond the fact that the USITC plans to look closer at the situation, with the USITC reportedly noting that “it had not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.” Although, the very fact that the claims have now found the attention of the USITC is thought to be some form of an acknowledgement that Nokia’s claims might have some validity to them.
This current development follows on from claims by Nokia which were only made public towards the end of December, 2016. In fact, Nokia originally announced that they were suing Apple for patent infringement on Dec. 21, and this was very quickly followed (on Dec. 23) by another announcement from Nokia explaining that they was already expanding the number of filings against Apple.
While the U.S. International Trade Commission will reportedly be looking at the situation in the US, the US is not the only place in which Nokia has filed its claims. With Nokia also registering similar filings in Europe (most predominantly in Germany) and in Asia. By last count, it was thought that Nokia has filed over 40 claims in total, spanning at least eleven different countries. What is also likely to be of interest here is that it seems Nokia is filing patent infringement claims across a number of different technologies, with antennas, chipsets, displays, video coding, software, and user interface, being the most notable. Which likely means that Apple will have to defend itself against Nokia’s claims on multiple fronts. Which has already started though, as Apple does already seem to be contesting Nokia’s stance on the situation, with the explanation that Nokia is simply looking to generate income in the face of a lack of revenue from its mobile business. In its previous December announcement however, Nokia did argue that they had tried to ‘agree licensing’ with Apple prior to commencing legal proceedings, but Apple had declined their offer(s).