Apple lost a Patent Case based on a Nokia Patent. Will the EU now Open an Antitrust Case against Nokia as Promised?
On Thursday Acacia Research Corporation posted a press release (PDF) stating that an "Acacia Subsidiary" was awarded a verdict of willful patent infringement case against Apple. This was a case that Patently Apple reported on back in January 2014 titled "Cellular Communications Equipment Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Apple using Nokia and Siemens Patents." We made it known in that report that Cellular Communications was using a series of patents owned by Acacia, a patent troll that IPWatchdog called the "Mother of all Patent Trolls" back in 2010.
The original case against Apple was actually based on five counts of infringing five separate patents. According to Acacia's press release, Apple was found guilty of infringing one patent. Conveniently absent from this press release is the fact that Apple wasn't found guilty of infringing the other four patents in the case because that wouldn't have fit their narrative of the outcome of the case. The other patents listed in the lawsuit that Apple wasn't found guilty of infringing were these: 6,819,923, 7,215,962, 7,941,174 and 6,377,804. Three out of the four listed were originally Nokia patents.
Yet in the bigger picture, it must be pointed out that the one patent that Apple was found guilty of infringing was in fact Nokia's patent 8,055,820. Why does this matter? It matters because in 2013 the EU warned Nokia to not become a patent troll.
Yahoo! News reported at that time that "Europe's top regulator warned Nokia not to try to become a "patent troll" after the Finnish company sold most of its cellphone-making business to Microsoft Corp. this year but retained its patent portfolio.
Joaquin Almunia said in a speech in Paris he had approved the $7.2 billion sale as not presenting problems on Microsoft's side, but there is a danger Nokia will now attempt to "extract higher returns" from its patent portfolio. "In other words...behave like a patent troll, or to use a more polite phrase, a patent assertion entity."
Almunia, in charge of competition at the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, warned he would open an antitrust case against the company if it attempts to take 'illegal advantage' of its patents."
Considering that Apple was hammered by the EU Commission in August with the largest corporate tax bill on record, will they now open an antitrust case against Nokia like they said they would for Nokia taking illegal advantage of its patents by making a deal with Acacia to attack Apple?
Now that one of these patents helped to win a case against Apple, will this Commission be honorable and do the right thing or was it all just European pompous hot air and virtuous vomit?
I forecast that the EU will do nothing against Nokia because of their total disdain for Apple, and this will of course clearly show the world that the EU Commission and their regulators (or band of gangsters), are only out to protect "their own" at all costs.
Apple's iPhone revolution killed Nokia. The Finish Prime Minister to this day still blames Apple for killing their economy by killing Nokia.
Do you think that the EU will now do anything to stop Nokia from using their patents in multiple lawsuits against Apple or any other U.S. companies in the future as they promised they would? Ha! Don't be ridiculous.
When Nokia sold their patents to the "mother of all Patent Trolls" they knew all too well exactly how Acacia would use them and against whom. Will the EU play word games now to skirt the issue? Nokia has become a patent toll just as Almunia warned, and so the ball is now in the EU's court to do something about it. Just don't hold your breath.
At present, Apple legal has not officially commented on the verdict or if it will appeal.