In 2011, Apple and Nokia settled a two-year battle over patent royalties for mobile phones. Nokia stopped making phones after that, but kept patents related to that business.
Apple sued a group of patent-holding companies Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California, over antitrust claims. Apple alleges the companies conspired with Nokia “as part of a plan to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly and anti-competitively from Apple and other innovative suppliers of cell phones, and ultimately from the consumers of those products.”
Core Wireless Licensing Sarl, one of the companies that Apple said is working with Nokia, last week won a $7.3 million jury verdict against the iPhone maker in San Jose federal court for infringing two patents. Apple has asked a judge to rule there was no infringement.
Apple said that after it entered into a cross-license agreement with Nokia in 2011, the Finnish company launched “secret plans to monetize” patents that weren’t part of the accord.
Apple said Nokia has transformed itself out of desperation, based on its own “failure as a supplier of cell phones.”
“It changed from a company focused on supplying cell phones and other consumer products to a company bent on exploiting the patents that remain from its years as a successful cell phone supplier,” Apple said in the complaint.
The Texas cases are Nokia Technologies Oyj v. Apple Inc., 16-cv-01440 and 16-cv-01441, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall). The California case is Apple Inc. v. Acacia Research Corp., 16-cv-07266, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).