APPLE REMOVES WITHING’S PRODUCTS FROM STORES FOLLOWING PATENT ROW WITH NOKIA

Normally, the holidays are a time to relax, have some fun, blow off a lot of the steam that we have generated within us all year and show some love too while preparing for the next year of the same cycle, more or less. However, while some of us are busy showing love and having our normal boxing days as it should be, Apple and Nokia are wearing their gloves and getting ready to turn this period into some real boxing time, and the only presents that would be exchanged here are lawsuits. The first report hit the news when Nokia filed a lawsuit against the Cupertino-based company on the infringement of some of its patents, and it seems that Apple is not about to let sleeping dogs lie. In a bite back (no pun intended…seriously) at Nokia, Apple has also filed a countersuit of its own. This could be one of those long, legal dances between two superpowers that end in an out of court settlement at the end of it all.

The first war between these two companies came alive in the year 2011 when Nokia brought the same kind of claim against Apple before a court and after a lot of legal dragging and proceedings, we got to know that they shook hands and settled themselves with some funds that ran into $720 million then. This payment was reportedly for the use of some patents of the company now owned by HMD, but this week, that love seems to be lost on them. With Nokia dragging them to court again, Apple thinks that the HMD-owned company might have removed some of the patents that the deal covered back then in a bid to get more money out of them, and they just would not stand for that. To make a statement of its own, Apple has also filed a suit against Nokia in the state of California. Speaking on the matter, Apple has released a statement that what Nokia was doing was all the typical action of a “patent troll,” and they were in agreement with other companies to extort her.

On the other hand, Nokia took its own lawsuit business on a large scale as they dragged Apple across three cities in Germany and also in the United States, where they made their discomfort known at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Their filing claims that Apple is in violation and infringement of over 32 patents which cuts across hardware and software components required for the build of smartphones. In the light of this current filing, it is sure that there would be some impact on the sales of Apple but being just ahead of the holidays period, there should be no major damage.

Speaking of the impact of these lawsuits on sales, in the other but related news, Withing’s products that were normally listed on the Apple website are now nowhere to be found. If you would like to get yourself, say, one of the fitness devices developed by the company, you would be met with an error page that shows you that what you are looking for no longer exists on the website. Don’t bother going to an offline store to get the Withings product too. It is no news that their brick and mortar stores are in the habit of not stocking materials that are not available online. There is currently no official comment from Apple on why this is happening, but the timing could not have been more perfect, given that Nokia acquired this company over the summer.

In a move that would be seen as taking the heat to Nokia too, this does not mean that Apple does not still have to deal with all of the suits it would have come at it from Finland, UK, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and France – all places where Nokia has been able to get their patent filings in. Nokia is a very big name when it comes to owning of patents, and due to certain rights, that are allocated to the owners of intellectual rights, the former OEM can take its business to wherever it pleases and file a suit there. Even though Nokia has stopped making phones of their own, they still have phones being made under their name as part of a licensing deal to other developers.

Even if Apple would end up losing the case and paying Nokia for the patents that are under consideration, they are planning not to go down with a fight in this instance. They consider the selling of products on their platform a privilege to whomever they are advertising and selling for and removing Withings – a company acquired for some $190 million by Nokia –  products is just one of the ways in which they would make Nokia bleed a little too. This isn’t the first time that they would make this kind of move, though, with the first coming in a 2014 feud with Bose. Resulting from a lawsuit that stemmed from patent infringement problems also, Apple erased all traces of Bose produces on its website after settling the dispute. The bone of contention then was the technology related to noise canceling headphones. This shows that Apple is no newbie in the game of dealing with patents and infringement rights, and this dance with Nokia promises to be an interesting one to watch.

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