On Friday an International Trade Commission ruled that Apple did not infringe on Nokia patents.
In May 2010 Nokia filed a suit alleging that Apple’s iPhone infringed on multiple Nokia patents including wireless data transmission and data encryption.
This is not the first time Apple and Nokia have disputed a patent-related suit. Nokia also tried to ban the importation of Apple devices such as the iPhone 3GS and the iPod Nano accusing them of infringing Nokia patents.
Now the entire commission has to decide whether or not they agree with Gildea’s decision. Sources say the target date for that decision is August 1, 2011.
Nokia is taking a wait-and-see approach to the ITC ruling.
“While Nokia does not agree with today’s initial determination that there has been no violation, we’ll wait to see the full details of the ruling before we decide on any next steps,” said Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant.
Both Apple and Android are currently well out infront of Nokia – both in terms of market share, brand appeal and sales.
So this ruling will come as quite a kick in the teeth for the Finnish phone manufacturer.
Apple’s shares closed up 1.9 percent at $351.54. Nokia shares ended 0.3 percent lower at 5.97 euros before the decision was released.
The ITC was also busy on Friday ruling that Research in Motion Ltd and Apple Inc did not infringe on Eastman Kodak Co patent technology.
This decision will be reviewed and a final decision is expected in May. The ITC is popular because it can bar the import of infringing devices.
Companion suits are often filed in U.S. district court to win financial damages.
“This gives the first strike to Apple in its case with Nokia but litigation will continue as ongoing patent suits reverberate around the mobile industry,” said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight.
The complaint was not only towards the iPhone 3GS and iPod, but also other iPhones, the iPod Touch, and iPod Classic, as well as the iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, Mac Book, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air computers.
If Nokia does win its suit that it could do some serious damage to Apple.