Well, this got ugly fast.
In less than a week, Nokia has sued Apple for patent infringement in courts around the world, saying that Apple has refused to license its patents. Apple, for its part, sued several patent owners it said were conspiring with Nokia and accused the Finnish tech giant of “extortion.”
Taking things a step further, Apple has pulled all Withings products from its stores. (Earlier this year, Nokia bought Withings, which makes Wi-Fi scales and other digital health and fitness gear.)
A Google search finds a listing on Apple’s web store for both a bathroom scale and smart thermometer made by Withings, but clicking on the link leads to an error message on Apple’s site.
Apple provides the following message:
This isn’t the first time Apple and Nokia have found themselves in a dispute over patents. The two companies sued each other in 2009 but eventually struck a deal in 2011, with Apple agreeing to license Nokia’s patents.
However, this time Nokia says that Apple has refused to take a new license; Apple says that Nokia is refusing to license its patents on fair terms.
After failing to strike a new deal, Nokia this week sued Apple in 11 countries, accusing Apple of infringing on 40 of its patents.
Apple responded by saying Nokia was acting like a patent troll and said it was “defending inventors everywhere” by standing up to the Finnish tech giant.
“We respect intellectual property and we’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products.” Apple said in a statement to Recode. “Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s own inventions they had nothing to do with.”
Nokia, for its part, said it went to court only “after several years of negotiations trying to reach an agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents.”