A trade panel judge gave his ruling on the Apple Nokia patent dispute on Friday, saying that the American giant had not infringed any of Nokia’s five patents, giving Apple an edge over the tussle with the Finnish telecom company. Nokia had alleged that the Apple devices such as the iPhone 3GS smartphone and the iPod Nano MP3 player violated their patents and thus they should not be allowed to be imported. They had filed the complaint in December 2009.
James Gildea, the judge from the International Trade commission, an organization which hears many similar cases concerning patent disputes, declared that his initial determinations led to the conclusion that none of Nokia’s patents had been violated by Apple. The commission can next either uphold the decision of the judge or throw it out as the target date for the final decision is set to be 1st August 2011. Nokia announced after this initial judgment that it was adopting a policy of wait and watch with the ITC in its dispute with Apple. Mark Durrant, the spokesman for the company stated that while not agreeing with this initial decision of no infringement of their patents having taken place, Nokia will wait for the results of the entire ruling to come out before the company considers taking any other step.
Both the companies have filed cases against each other on patent issues in the United States and Europe. The ITC has been chosen as the platform by both as it holds the power to stop the import of devices which actually infringe the patents. Often, companion suits are filed in US district courts to win financial damages. This case proceeds in the backdrop of Apple’s iPhone having established its supremacy over the smartphone market, throwing the once mighty Nokia into the sidelines.