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Apple Wins Trade Ruling in Nokia Patent Fight Over Phones

Apple Wins Trade Ruling in Nokia Patent Fight Over Phones
An Apple Inc. iPhone 4 sits on top of iPhone boxes at a Verizon Wireless store in Draper, Utah. Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. won a U.S. trade ruling in a patent fight brought by Nokia Oyj over technology used in mobile telephones.

A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington today said Apple isn’t violating Nokia’s rights on five patents. The findings of ITC Judge E. James Gildea are subject to review by the six-member commission, which has the power to block imports of products found to infringe U.S. patents.

The two mobile-phone makers have been embroiled in litigation since October 2009, when Nokia filed a lawsuit accusing Apple of infringing 10 patents and demanding royalties on the millions of iPhones sold since the device’s introduction in 2007. Each company has since accused the other of infringing an increasing number of patents.

“While we don’t agree that there has been no violation, we’ll wait to see the details of the ruling before we decide on any next steps,” said Laurie Armstrong, a spokeswoman for Espoo, Finland-based Nokia.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, said the Cupertino, California-based company had no comment. The judge’s reasons will be released to the public after both sides have a chance to redact confidential business information.

Nokia had claimed Apple was infringing patents that the Finnish company described as “pioneering innovations” related to cameras, battery life, touch-screens, speakers and messaging. It sought an order barring imports of the iPhone.

Apple has its own patent-infringement claims against Nokia at the Washington agency. A different ITC judge, Charles Bullock, is scheduled to release his findings in that case on June 24.

The Nokia case is In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices, Including Mobile Phones, Portable Music Players and Computers, 337-701, and Apple’s case is In the Matter of Mobile Communications and Computer Devices, 2707, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

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