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February 12, 2011

Comments

Let's hope that the slopartist that is named Nokia will shrink fast. They are uncreative and have no idea what to do and are hoping they can sue their way back in business

Bryan: There are a lot of issues swirling around these infringement assertions and the motion to compel. First, it is a little odd that Nokia couldn't compel Apple to produce relevant documents related to implementation of the patented technology. I'm not sure if they tried, or what they got if they did try.

Anyway, in general, a chip manufacturer and the OEM can both be sued for infringement. The patent holder does not need to chose one over the other as both are jointly liable. It sometimes makes sense for patent holders to go after the "big dog" with the deep pocket, at least initially. However, the patent holder is not entitled to double dip for damages. They simply have the right to be made whole for the infringing activity.

As such, if an OEM is held liable and forced to pay damages for the infringement, the OEM may then seek compensation or reimbursement from the chip manufacturer via indemnification. There are other factors that may come in to play, such as implied licenses from the manufacturer to the OEM that protect the OEM. Again, most of these issues are between the OEM and manufacturer, and do not limit the ability of the patent holder to pick one or both to sue.

Lastly, we shouldn't forget that Nokia and Apple are battling it out in other infringement suits. Focusing on Apple rather than Infineon here may be part of Nokia's aggregate strategy to flex its patent muscle (e.g., force settlement or licensing across multiple suits and patent portfolios).

Sorry if this is a bit scattered but lengthy papers could be written on each of these subissues and how they are playing out in this case. As is the case with most patent infringement suits, business and leverage decisions are often more important than legal ones.

Matt Macari

Question: If a chip manufacture is making a chip or chip sets that they sell to multiple OEM's for use in products, why are the chip manufactures not being sued for patent infringement? It's not the OEM that is having them design the chip, they are just using off the shelf chips made buy someone else.

Although off-topic a bit - I'd personally like to see Apple slam HTC & Motorola in the courts.

Especially, HTC. Why? They actually showcase/allude to HTC phones having the same functionality as the iPhone in their commercials. Which to me is very misleading to the consumers. Surprised the FTC allows them to do this.

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