Apple are being sued by a patent owner who claim that they are infringing on eight patents relating to wireless communications protocols.
Microsoft have a financial interest in the Luxembourg company who are filing the lawsuit. Core Wireless Licensing SARL are claiming that Apple are infringing on eight patents they own in regards to 2G, 3G and 4G communication protocols which are being used in the iPhone and iPad devices.
According to the Wall Street Journal the lawsuit is seeking damages and future royalty payments for ‘each and every product sold by Apple in the future that is found to infringe.’
Core Wireless are a ‘patent holding company’ who have obtained a portfolio of 2,000 patents and patent applications from Nokia. Core Wireless were then acquired by Canadian based Mosaid Technologies last September.
Microsoft have apparently a financial interest in Core Wireless and have licensed some patents. Horacio Guitierrez, Microsoft deputy counsel spoke to ZDNET last year, saying “We are pleased to have secured a license to the Nokia patents now acquired by Mosaid for Microsoft’s products and services. In return, we have a passive economic interest in the revenue generated from the licensing of those patents to third parties. The marketplace for intellectual property is incredibly dynamic today, and this agreement is an effective way to make these Nokia innovations available to the industry and to unlock the considerable value of this IP portfolio.”
CNET add “The lawsuit puts Microsoft and Apple in an awkward position, as the two recently partnered in a consortium that purchased Nortel Networks’ remaining portfolio of 6,000 patents and patent applications for $4.5 billion. Other companies involved in the deal, which won regulatory approval last month, include Research In Motion, Sony, and Ericcson.
Patent fights have become a popular source of revenue lately, especially in the smartphone sector. Google recently paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility, an acquisition that initially surprised many until Google said it was interested in the troubled cell phone maker mainly for its strong patent portfolio. Motorola has mixed it up with Apple in several courtrooms around the world, but the two recently clashed over patents in Germany, forcing Apple to temporarily remove older iPhones from its online store in that country.”
Kitguru says: Apple will be preparing a defense.