Nokia is suing Apple for infringing on up to 10 of Nokia’s patents with the iPhone. And, it seems Apple could get hit with as much as $1 billion in damages related to their alleged patent infringement. Sounds crazy, but it might just happen.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates that Nokia will seek damages of around $200-$400 million – assessed at $6-$12 for each of the 34 million iPhones sold to date. But, that might be Apple’s best case scenario if a judge finds that Apple was in the wrong by not paying their dues to the folks in Espoo. According to Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston Apple could be facing down the barrel of a lawsuit that could end up costing the iPhone maker $200 million to $1 billion in damages.
Apple is something of a newcomer to the mobile phone game. They don’t have the patent portfolio to protect them against lawsuits like this, and it’s hard to see how Apple could make a smartphone these days without treading on at least a few of Nokia’s wireless technology patents. That leaves Apple open to getting legally violated by the mighty Finns.
Some say Nokia’s lawsuit is more a ploy to try and slowdown the runaway success of the iPhone. Others think Nokia just wants to get in on Apple’s cash cow. In any case, Nokia says they approached Apple with several offers before filing suit, so it’s Apple’s bad for not wanting to settle this out of court. It should be interesting to see where this goes…