Apple’s Intellectual Property Problem

This week, Apple faces off against Nokia before the International Trade Commission, marking the first in a long list of Apple’s gripes about intellectual property violations.  In this litigation, both Apple and Nokia, the world’s largest mobile-phone producer, allege intellectual property violations surrounding smartphones, including Apple’s immensely popular iPhone.  Nokia argues that Apple entered the mobile phone market too late to get real footing, so it stole intellectual property from other manufacturers.  Apple, on the other hand, argues that Nokia has lost the smartphone competition and has no recourse other than to sue.  At worst, the results of the suit could mean certain phones will be blocked from the U.S. market.  To be sure, whichever mobile phone giant wins this suit will gain the upper hand in the smartphone market.

Apple is vying to protect its right to import the iPhone—all while shutting out its competitors, especially devices operating on Google’s Android platform, the world’s most popular smartphone software.  The outcome of the Nokia battle will determine Apple’s game plan in patent challenges against Motorola and HTC.  Both Motorola and HTC manufacture smartphones using the Android operating system.  Critics suggest the complaints against Motorola and HTC are Apple’s attempt to snuff out the highly competitive Android platform.  Backed by an impressive legal team, including a number of high-profile patent and intellectual property lawyers, Apple may well have the legal power to upset the volatile smartphone market.

Though the big corporations grab the spotlight with their intellectual property lawsuits, we at Hornberger & Brewer know intellectual property issues affect the little guy, too.  If you have questions about intellectual property law or are involved in an intellectual property dispute, Hornberger & Brewer is on your side.  Our professional staff will fight to protect your rights and the rights of your intellectual property.  Visit our website for more information on how we can help.

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