The complaints, filed in October through December, follow earlier lawsuits by Nokia claiming that a broad swath of Apple products violate its patents. Apple has earlier responded with its own infringement claims against Nokia.
The actions “add 13 further Nokia patents to the 24 already asserted against Apple in the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Delaware and Wisconsin Federal courts,” the world’s largest handset maker said Thursday.
Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said he did not expect a quick result and that the first case likely would not go to court until late next year, probably in the Hague, Netherlands.
“We wanted to be sure that we don’t just talk about these in dribs and drabs. There’s obviously a lot of action going in some of these cases,” Durrant said.
Lawsuits over patent rights are common in the wireless industry and can take years to resolve.
“This is part and parcel of the patent wars in the industry where the market is really crowded. Nokia does have a pretty big patent portfolio and they want to keep that as strong as possible,” said Neil Mawston at London-based Strategy Analytics. “It’s happening with all the major companies, Samsung, RIM (Research in Motion) and Apple.”
“Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours,” Apple spokesman Bruce Sewell said in a statement on Dec. 11.
Nokia’s cases filed in the U.K. High Court on Dec. 3 include patents relating to touch user interface, on-device application stores and technology in signal noise suppression.
Other cases, filed at district courts in Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germany, include patents over caller ID, user interface, antenna structures, chipsets and display illumination.
Nokia said at least two of the patents, including “using a wiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content and enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store,” were filed more than 10 years before Apple’s launch of the iPhone.
The legal disputes, which generally don’t stop products reaching markets, come amid increasing competition in the fast-growing market for smart phones. Tech companies are scrambling to win over the growing number of consumers buying cell phones that come with e-mail, Web surfing and scores of apps for checking the weather, updating Facebook and other tasks.