By Eric Schweibenz
On March 28, 2011, Nokia Corporation of Finland, Nokia Inc. of White Plains, New York, and Intellisync Corporation of White Plains, New York (collectively, “Nokia”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”) unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain electronic devices, including mobile phones, mobile tablets, portable music players, and computers, and components thereof that infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 7,209,911 (the ‘911 patent), 6,212,529 (the ‘529 patent), 6,141,664 (the ‘664 patent), 7,558,696 (the ‘696 patent), 6,445,932 (the ‘932 patent), 5,898,740 (the ‘740 patent), and 7,319,874 (the ‘874 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents “are a reflection of the breadth of Nokia’s extensive dedication and investment in technology.”  In particular, the ‘911, ‘529, and ‘664 patents are directed to synchronization technology that allows two devices of extremely different storage capacity — e.g., mobile phones and personal computers — to sync with each other despite the huge storage disparity.  The ‘696 patent relates to providing a centralized interface for applications running on a mobile device to obtain position data.  The ‘932 patent relates to automatically storing draft information entered by a mobile phone user, as well as information related to that application, to non-volatile memory upon certain events, such as exiting or navigating away from the current application.  The ‘740 patent relates to a method of using power control in a cellular communication system and receiver to achieve better voice quality with fewer dropped calls.  Lastly, the ‘874 patent relates to a novel arrangement of interfaces that allows links to two different network interfaces in a device that can operate independently of which network is being used.

In the complaint, Nokia alleges that Apple imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically names the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Nokia states that many of its mobile phones practice or have practiced the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically names the Nokia N8 mobile phone as a representative product covered by at least one claim of each of the ‘911, ‘529, ‘664, ‘696, ‘932, and ‘874 patents.  The complaint also states that a future Nokia mobile phone that is currently under development in a San Diego, California research and development facility will practice at least one claim of the ‘740 patent.  With respect to the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement, Nokia states that it has over 1,700 employees located in fourteen Nokia facilities in the U.S. that are involved in research and development at an annual cost of over $500 million.

As to related litigation, Nokia states that on May 7, 2010, it filed a civil action in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin alleging, inter alia, that Apple infringed the ‘696 patent.  According to the complaint, that action was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on January 5, 2011, where it remains pending.  Additionally, Nokia states that concurrently with the filing of the instant ITC complaint, Nokia will file another civil action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware accusing Apple of infringing the remaining asserted patents.

With respect to potential remedy, Nokia requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Apple, its affiliates, and others acting on behalf of Apple.