Deja vu: Nokia sues Apple over patent infringement

Apparently, the wheels on the lawsuit also go round and round. Nokia announced on Friday that it was suing Apple for intellectual property infringement. If you think you’ve just seen a glitch in the Matrix, don’t worry: this isn’t the first time the Finland-based company has taken legal action against Cupertino.

This most recent lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Federal court of the Western District of Wisconsin, sees Nokia targeting the iPhone and iPad 3G for infringement of five Nokia patents. The mobile phone maker has been kind enough to detail them in a press release:

The patents in question relate to technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices.

Well, those all certainly sound like they describe aspects of the iPhone and 3G-enabled iPad. But couldn’t Nokia have included these allegations in one of its previous suits? After all, everybody likes a bundle deal.

If you’re having trouble following the whole tortured legal web, we don’t blame you. Allow us to present this condensed timeline of the legal machinations between the two companies.

In October 2009, Nokia sued Apple in the U.S. Federal District Court in Delaware over ten different violations; Apple responded with its own countersuit in December of last year, raising the stakes to 13 patents. The two sides also each filed respective complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the other company from importing its goods into the country. In March, the Delaware judge suspended the infringement suit until the ITC investigations were resolved. It’s certainly clear we haven’t heard the last of this ongoing legal battle over who invented what and when.

As to why Nokia would file suit in Wisconsin, it’s not immediately clear—though we imagine it is not (merely) out of a fondness for the state’s legendary cheese prowess.

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