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Investigation into Nokia's infringement claims instigated

Investigation into Nokia's infringement claims instigated

After filing another set of patent infringement complaints against Apple in December 2009, Nokia is now going to have its claims examined by an official US trade body in order to determine whether components used in the iPhone and other Apple electronics are in breach of patent legislation.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) is still in the process of deciding whether or not Apple's own claims against Nokia are worthy of investigation, but it has clearly been convinced to carry out an independent enquiry into Nokia's complaints.

A spokesperson for Nokia said that "Apple's unauthorized use of Nokia's inventions is consistent with a long-standing Apple corporate tradition" when the legal proceedings began back in October 2009.

It also said that Chinese firms "perform final assembly of substantially all of Apple's mobile phones, portable music players and computers".

The ITC investigation is likely to take over a year to run its course and even if it finds in favour of Nokia, it will be unable to force Apple to pay any compensation.

The body's powers could, however, allow it to stop Apple importing the vital technologies that are deemed to be in breach of Nokia's patents, potentially ending the iPhone's production.

Gartner's Ken Dulaney said that Apple and Nokia were embroiled in a battle that essentially saw their respective lawyers attempting to better one another.

Whether Apple or Nokia will win in the end could have serious ramifications in the global mobile phone market, as well as that within the US.

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