Apple’s patent quarrel with Nokia has officially gone from minor tiff to full scale patent war.
It appears that Apple has taken down listings for Withings products from its online store (Nokia owns Withings, a company that makes Wi-Fi scales and digital fitness products.)
If you try and search Google for Withings products on the Apple Store, you’ll still be able to see the phantom listings, but if you try to click on them, a message stating that “the product you’re looking for is no longer available on apple.com” pops up.
Earlier this week, Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement in courts all over the world.
In 2011, the two companies struck a deal that covered a portion of Nokia patents, but Nokia now claims that efforts to settle on a broader agreement have gone nowhere.
“Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products,” Nokia patent head Ilkka Rahnasto told Recode.
The cases were filed in Germany, Finland, the UK, Italy, Sweden, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Japan and in the Eastern District of Texas, the most active patent court system in the country (18 of the 40 suits were reportedly filed in that particular part of Texas).
Due to certain rules surrounding intellectual property filings, patent holders like Nokia can often file its lawsuits wherever it pleases. The Eastern District of Texas has become a hotspot for patent holders pursuing infringement cases because the district has a reputation for settling in the plaintiff’s favor at a higher rate.
The 40 patents in question cover everything from displays to user interface and more.
Nokia itself is no longer producing mobile phones (although phones are being manufactured under its name as part of licensing agreements) so the company has become more aggressive in pursuing patent claims.
However, Apple is pretty good at playing the patent game, too. It filed its own suits earlier this week against several patent-holding companies, saying those companies conspired with Nokia to collect “excessive” patent royalties.
This isn’t Nokia and Apple’s first rodeo. Both companies sued each other back in 2009, eventually settling on the aforementioned 2011 agreement.
Representatives from Apple and Nokia were not immediately available for comment.