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Apple calls Nokia a copycat in lawsuit counterclaim

In response to a lawsuit brought against the company by Nokia, Apple has filed a countersuit claiming that Nokia is infringing 13 Apple patents.

With respect to Nokia?s initial claims of infringement, Apple denies that it infringes any valid claim of the patents identified in Nokia?s complaint from October (see story).

?In dealing with Apple, Nokia has sought to gain an unjust competitive advantage over Apple by charging unwarranted fees to use patents that allegedly cover industry compatibility standards and by seeking to obtain access to Apple?s intellectual property,? Apple?s counterclaim filing says.

?Nokia needs access to Apple?s intellectual properties because Nokia has copied and is now using that patented technology,? it says.

Based on this, Apple is asking that Nokia?s claims against it be rejected. Apple is also seeking recovery for Nokia?s infringement of its patents.

Apple and Nokia did not return calls for this story.

In its filing, Apple said that the wireless industry has changed a lot since the launch of the iPhone and Nokia has not been able to keep up.

Nokia remained focused on traditional feature phones and as a result has rapidly lost share in the high-end mobile phone market.

?In response Nokia chose to copy the iPhone, especially its enormously popular and patented design and user interface,? the countersuit filing says.

According to the filing, Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia?s executive vice president and general manager of multimedia, was asked about the similarities of Nokia?s new offerings to the already released iPhone at Nokia's GoPlay event in 2007.

?If there is something good in the world, we copy with pride,? Mr. Vanjoki allegedly said.

Nokia filed its complaint against Apple with the Federal District Court in Delaware in October, alleging that Apple's iPhone infringes Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless local area network (WLAN) standards (see story).

?This attempt by Nokia to leverage patents previously pledged to industry standards is an effort to free ride on the commercial success of Apple?s innovative iPhone while avoiding liability for copying the iPhone and infringing Apple?s patents,? Apple?s countersuit filing says.

Apple claims that Nokia is not entitled to any relief because it has not infringed any valid claims of Patents 465, 178, 651, 904, 135, 548, 727, 940, 672 or 621.

Additionally, Apple said in its filing that one or more of the claims of the Nokia Asserted Patents are invalid for failing to meet the requisite statutory and decisional requirements and/or conditions for patentability (Title 35 of the United States Code).

Apple claims that Nokia is abusing standard-setting processes that are crucial to bringing pro-competitive benefits to carriers and consumers.

?Nokia has abused the monopoly positions that the standards conferred on its claimed standards-essential technologies and breached its contractual commitments by demanding exorbitant royalties and other unreasonable licensing terms,? the filing says.

?Apple seeks to bring this misconduct to an end and thereby prevent further harm to Apple, the mobile wireless communications industry and consumers,? it says.

Additionally, in reference to Nokia?s Mr. Vanjoki?s quote at GoPlay in 2007, Apple said that ?Nokia has demonstrated its willingness to copy Apple?s iPhone ideas as well as Apple?s basic computing technologies.?

On top of that, Apple is appalled that Nokia allegedly copied its ideas and had the audacity to demand that Apple pay for access to Nokia?s purported standards essential patents.

?Apple seeks redress for this behavior,? the filing says.