Nokia and Apple to clash over touchscreen cellphone patents?

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So by now you’ve heard about a little multi-touch device called the iPhone right? And you’re well aware that Nokia is set to deliver their new S60 Touch Interface and likely a few new touch-screen devices sometime in 2008. Well, according to Richard Windsor, a London-based analyst with Nomura, Nokia could see “delays or holdups” in its smartphone strategy if Apple decides to unleash its army of lawyers in defense of its over 200 iPhone-related patent filings. (Note: that’s “filings” not patents granted for intellectual property.) According to Mr. Windsor, “I think Apple will likely view Nokia as infringing on its user interface patents.” Having said that, he further speculates that Apple and Nokia will likely end up in a settlement by 2009 in order to avoid a lengthy Qualcomm vs. Nokia battle in the courts. Of course, in a system whereby laggards and leaders attempt to gain or maintain competitive advantage through lawsuits and lobbyists rather than the innovations of their own engineers, anything goes. And yeah, we know there are a lot of ifs in there. Still, don’t forget that Apple failed to defend the “look and feel” of its Mac OS in court against Microsoft back in the Windows 2.0 days, and Nokia’s been making touchscreen devices for years, not months like Apple. So, lesson learned or big trouble in little Espoo, what say you? We’re guessing the latter if that demonstration device (on the right) is ever released.


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