Tag Archives: legal

Nokia to Sue Apple

Finland’s mobile phone giant Nokia is planning to sue Apple for their failure to pass on royalties from their sales of the immensely popular iPhone.

Apple are said to have infringed upon Nokia’s mobile phone technology patents when developing the iPhone.

How much Nokia will be seeking has not yet been confirmed, but expert analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray predicts that Nokia will seek 1-2% from every iPhone that is sold.

Over 30 million have been sold to date which would generate between $6 and $12 per iPhone, potentially totalling $400m.

Apple has recently announced third quarter profits of £1bn with the iPhone delivering a 7% growth, having to pass on 1-2% of its iPhone royalties would be relatively insignificant.

On the other hand, Nokia revealed a loss for the last quarter due to a downturn in sales; the first in a decade.

Nokia has confirmed agreements with approximately 40 companies, which included the majority of mobile phone handset makers, allowing the use of its technological advancements, but Apple had not signed the agreement.

Ilkka Rahnasto, vice-president of legal and intellectual property at Nokia explained, “the basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for.”

“Apple is also expected to follow this principle.”

Mr Rahnasto went on to say, that Nokia has actually invested over £36bn on research and development in the past two decades.

Highly respected Apple expert Mr Munster has confessed that a sum of $12 per phone was “unlikely,” but if Nokia did manage to prise such a high figure out of Apple, it “would not change our positive thesis on the iPhone and Apple.” He went on to add, that “ultimately, the resolution is uncertain.”

The BBC sought further information from Apple, but a spokesman for the technology giant revealed that the company didn’t comment on pending litigation.

Nokia have alleged a total of 10 patent infringements, applying to all models from the iPhone range since its 2007 launch. Some of the patents that have been allegedly breeched include wireless data technology, speech coding, encryption and security. Nokia went on to accuse Apple of “trying to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”

World of Warcraft becomes very Real for Game Cheat

A Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) is where players assume the role of a fictional character and take control over many of that character’s actions. But if you don’t want to spend hours sitting in front of your PC “levelling-up” then there are programs available that will control everything for you – for a fee, of course.

One such company has landed in hot water with Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of the 7.5 million players World of Warcraft, and has been sued for £3.36m ($6m) for its ‘bot’ software.

The damages award comes after Blizzard won the fist fight against MDY Industries in July 2008. Blizzard embarked on the case against MDY claiming that its World of Warcraft ‘Gilder’ software encroached on Blizzards copyright.

Proving pretty popular, the Gilder software lets Warcraft players automate much of the games repetitiveness, such as levelling-up by killing monsters and scavenging loot.

In July US District Court Judge David Campbell ruled that the MMOGlider, which the software is now known, broke the terms of the license that players are forced to agree with before the begin to play the game.

The software was developed by MDY founder Michael Donnelly, who reportedly sold over 100,000 copies of the program, which retailed at £14 ($25). Which if my maths is correct, makes £1.4m.

Although sizeable, the damages award could have easily been bigger, but MDY managed to argue the cost of its infringement down. This was also helped by admitting that they were in the wrong.

However, MDY still has cause for panic, because Blizzard may well appeal for double or even triple the amount. The case will be dragged out until January 2009 when remaining issues in the legal conflict will be discussed.

These issues include whether MDY broke the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and whether Donnelly will have to pay damages from his own pocket. But he’ll have to dig pretty deep to find that amount of cash.

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Nintendo Wii Faces Legal Battle Over Controller Patents

Nintendo’s revolutionary Wii console could face a US sales ban, after an American manufacturer has claimed that four of its patents for on-screen navigation and control technology have been infringed by the famous Japanese company.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to investigate Hillcrest Laboratories’ allegations that Nintendo violated three patents hillcrest owns relating to a “handheld three-dimensional pointing device” and a fourth for a “navigation interface display system that graphically organises content for display on television”.

The ITC said that the complaint alleges “violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930” and that it relates to “certain videogame machines and related three-dimensional pointing devices”.

The first part of the investigation will be handled by one of five ITC administrative law judges, who will hold an evidentiary hearing. The judge will then have to make an initial decision on whether there has been a violation of section 337, after which ITC will make a final decision over the lawsuit’s merits.

Hillcrest is hoping for an exclusion order and a cease and desist order, which if approved could see the Wii and its controllers banned from sale in the US, and from being imported.

Charlie Scibetta, a spokesman for Nintendo of America, released a statement that claimed that none of the videogame pioneer’s products infringe Hillcrest Laboratories’ patents. Nintendo plans to “vigorously defend” its position, he said