Jury clears Apple of infringing patents formerly held by Nokia

The patents covered wireless communication from mobile devices

A Texas jury has found that Apple didn't infringe on five wireless technology patents that once belonged to Nokia and were sold to patent licensing firm Conversant.

In 2012, Core Wireless, which is a subsidiary of Conversant, sued Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, alleging iPads and iPhones used technology covered by Core patents to transmit data. Core was seeking a portion of the revenue Apple made from selling the devices and would make from future sales. Core's lawsuit initially claimed that Apple infringed on more patents. According to court documents, patents were removed over the years to simplify the case.

The jury also rejected Apple's claim that Core didn't license the patents, which are considered essential, on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

Conversant purchased Core in 2011 and in the process acquired 2,000 Nokia patents and patent applications. Microsoft had to license those Nokia patents as part of the 2011 negotiations over Windows Phone becoming the main mobile platform for Nokia's phones. Conversant, which was then called Mosaid, licensed the patents to third parties, kept an eye on potential infringers and shared a portion of the revenue with Microsoft and Nokia.

The patents and patent applications cover 2G, 3G and LTE (Long Term Evolution) and are used in many wireless products, Conversant said.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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