Nokia Sues Apple Over iPad Patents

Nokia and Apple are in a legal battle over the Apple iPad's design.

Nokia is suing Apple over what it claims are infringing patents in the iPad and iPad 3G.

This is just the latest in a series of escalating lawsuits between the two companies regarding their respective mobile and consumer electronic devices.

This lawsuit — which unlike the others was filed in the Federal District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin — is about technologies related to enhanced speech and data transmission.

In a statement, Nokia described this technology as “positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

Nokia and Apple have been engaged in what we like to call “Patent Lawsuit Theater.” If you haven’t been keeping up with the saga, which began in October, here’s a primer:

* Nokia filed a lawsuit against Apple in Delaware District Court, claiming that the iPhone infringed on many of its patents.

* Apple filed a countersuit against Nokia in December, claiming Nokia is trying to take advantage of Apple by making unwarranted claims in order to try to access Apple’s intellectual property.

* Nokia then filed its motion with the International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming all of Apple’s products violate its patents. This is what the ITC is currently investigating.

* Nokia then filed a second complaint in federal court, this time asking the court and the ITC to ban imports of iPhones, MacBooks and iPods.

* Apple decided it could play the “banninator” card too and filed its complaint with the ITC.

* The ITC started an investigation into Apple’s alleged infringement at Nokia’s request.

Keep in mind, that’s just the Nokia-Apple dispute. That doesn’t even address Kodak’s lawsuit against Apple, Apple’s countersuit against Kodak, or Apple’s lawsuit against HTC.

Mashable anticipate that the next steps will go something like this:

* Apple will countersue Nokia in Wisconsin.

* Nokia will either amend its previous ITC filing or file a new claim requesting bans on U.S. imports of Apple iPad and iPad 3G units.

* Apple will respond with its own ITC filing or amend its previous complaint.

* A new product will get released or a new patent claim will be found and the entire process will start all over again.

What do you think of the latest act in this protracted melodrama between multibillion dollar companies?

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