As the patent wars rage on between smartphone giants Samsung and Apple over proprietary and patented technology and designs in their smartphone product range, Nokia, the Finland based manufacturer popular for its Lumia range of Windows Phone OS powered smartphones, has come out in support of Apple’s attempts at securing permanent injunctions against the sale of many smartphones manufactured by Samsung, including phones in the Galaxy family. Nokia is, in fact, the first such manufacturer or group to support Apple’s case against Samsung.
Nokia, after seeking a 14-day extension to the February 19 deadline for submitting amicus filings on behalf of Apple, has filed a brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at Washington on Monday. The full content of the brief is sealed for now, though a summary suggests that the trial court was wrong in its denial of the request from Apple for a permanent injunction.
The filing by attorneys representing Nokia argues that the California District Judge’s ruling that the iPhone manufacturer must be able to prove a definite relationship between its patented features and the demand for iPhones in order to demand a permanent injunction might cause significant damage to the scope of protection offered against infringement by the United States’ patent laws.
It is interesting to note that Apple and Nokia had been rivals in these patent wars at an earlier juncture. Nokia had sued Apple in 2009, before Apple initiated its patent wars against Samsung. Apple had reached a settlement with Nokia a couple of years ago after agreeing to pay an undisclosed amount in royalties. Nokia has been a party in a large number of patent disputes in the United States. Nokia’s attorneys noted that the Finnish firm is an owner of a large number of patents in mobile technology. According to the attorneys, Nokia’s objective is to advocate for patent rights, and the right to demand patent infringement based injunctions to protect patent rights.
Apart from Nokia, there are no manufacturers or advocacy organizations who have filed briefs supporting Apple. Samsung’s brief is due only several weeks from now, and its supporters will have to wait till then to file such amici briefs. The Federal Circuit court had earlier denied Apple’s request for a fast-track appeal to hear the case before the full court and had assigned a three judge panel to hear the case first.