In the tech world, it's almost impossible to launch a high-profile device without someone claiming you've infringed a patent somewhere. Today, it's Nokia's turn with the Nexus 7. The Finnish company has stated that it believes the Nexus 7 violates some of its standards-essential patents relating to WiFi. The announcement seems to be a more casual nod to Google and ASUS to simply fork over a bit of cash, akin to the Rob Schneider prompting Kevin for a tip in Home Alone 2*.

Said Nokia to the Inquirer:

"Nokia has more than 40 licensees, mainly for its standards essential patent portfolio, including most of the mobile device manufacturers. Neither Google nor Asus is licensed under our patent portfolio. Companies who are not yet licensed under our standard essential patents should simply approach us and sign up for a license."

The company hasn't filed any suit or made any formal legal complaint against Google or ASUS just yet which, last I checked, can't be a Christmas miracle because it's only July. Still, ASUS has refused comment and Google is mum, so there's still the possibility that they won't pay up and Nokia will be forced to take legal action. So don't worry, lawyers, you may still get to buy that fifth yacht after all.

Source: Inquirer via Engadget

*I am currently accepting applications from anyone who would like to update my movie references to this millennium.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

    "*I am currently accepting applications from anyone who would like to update my movie references to this millennium."

    Home Alone 4 came out in 2002.
    That get me the job? ;-)

  • Patrick Lyddy

    Grabbing at straws. Nokia's just pissed they went with WinMo instead of Android. The Lumia isn't getting WinMo 8. Honestly, I'd LOVE a Lumia running Android. They're just bitter. This patent this is getting out of control...wait...HAS BEEN out of control for FAR too long.

  • Blah


  • Goldenpins

    This never ends..

  • Lexster

    Okay, so at what point does the government get involved and start changing the patent system? It's ridiculous at this point. The patent system is not set up for modern technology. We need it to be completely revamped to take into account commonly-used essential functions that may have a patent, but shouldn't be allowed to hold up devices from being sold. I understand getting compensation, but the whole EVO 4G LTE fiasco shows that the only people who are harmed by this crap are consumers and the company being sued.

    • marcusmaximus04

      Note: There's absolutely no mention anywhere of Nokia holding up the Nexus 7 from being sold/shipped/whatever. They're asking for licensing fees. The same licensing fees everyone else is paying.

      • Lexster

        That's fine as long as that's as far as it goes, but we're all seen in recent memory, that other companies don't just stop there.

        • marcusmaximus04

          Notably, the only company I know of so far that has sued or tried to block a device over FRAND patents(which this falls under) is Motorola/Google.

          • Lexster


          • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

            The Motorola suit took place WAAAAY before the the Google purchase went into effect. Just sayin...

        • marcusmaximus04

          Apparently can't reply to your comment below, so I'm replying here:

          Apple has sued over their own patents on things like universal search, slide to unlock, and design patents. Questions of the merits of those patents aside, this is a WHOLE different issue.

          The patents in question here(FRAND) are ones that Nokia added to the wifi standard under the understanding and agreement that they would license it out for fair licensing fees.

          Motorola attempted to sue Apple and Microsoft over other FRAND patents to block the iPhone/iPad and the XBox 360, respectively. In the Apple suit, those charges were thrown out of court precisely because they were part of a FRAND package and the Microsoft suit is now going back to a judge for the same reason.

          Apple made no such agreements to ever license out their patents.

          • Lexster

            What I'm saying is that there need to be new terms for this stuff. My point is that Apple sued HTC to block the EVO 4G LTE for an inconsequential function that allows the user to choose a default app for a function via pop-up. HTC had to add in a whole new "App Association" option to Sense 4's settings to appease their "patent". That is not something that should be considered high-priority enough to block.

    • rockstarr27

      The definition of a patent is anti-competition and anti-capitalism as it forces an artificial monopoly on whatev patent was granted. The supposedly good intention of patents was to help small startups or single person inventors protect their invention until they could mass produce their invention before a huge mega apple-like corporation could steal their idea. Now days it's used by mega corporations like apple to keep the small players out of business, the exact opposite. But yeh, they just need to get rid of this "i own this idea haha you can't have it" mentality.

      • Lexster

        I think the idea is fine, but I think that you should only be allowed to hold a patent for a short period of time, enough time to produce the product first. But, I think once you use that patent in a product, it should be allowed to be used by other companies after a period of time. It's not perfect, but it would keep this litigation crap from happening to much.

      • NeedName


        I think it has also been forgotten that patents are not there to keep other from using them. In fact, they are their so others will use them — that's why they are publicly available to everyone. Therefore, this whole idea that a patent holder can keep others from using said patent is total BS. The patent is there so that the patent holder is *compensated* not so "they are the only ones who can use that idea." *It's for the public's interest* and companies are *allowed* to exist for *the public good*. . . it's just that our government and courts have turned it all upside down and think that corporations are the only ones that matter anymore. . 

  • MattEden

    *No. I look forward to future references to Stripes, Groundhog's Day, and Scrooged. #doionlywatchbillmurraymovies

  • NeedName

    Maybe Google just figure, well crapple doesn't seem to have to pay anyone for FRAND patents, why should we? :D

  • silaslenz

    Yahoo has started suing anyone, Kodak too, and soon Nokia. When is RIM coming, and then what is the next bankrupt company to go the suing road because they cant compete anymore?

  • Curlen Middleton

    wait...  if Nokia had a legal leg to stand on, wouldn't nearly every other device makier in existance need a license too?  And If this is such a big deal, wouldn't Asus already have a license for all its other products like Routers, motherboards, laptops, etc?

    I dunno about you all, but this stinks of a scared Microsoft to me...

    • http://cassidyjames.com Cassidy James

      This is what I was wondering. If Asus isn't licensing their patents, then how does Asus make so many Wi-Fi using products?

      • storm14k

        My thoughts exactly. ASUS makes too many other products using wireless chips.

    • sfehrman

      I was thinking the same thing, but then thought of the fact that Asus probably doesnt make the chips themselves, so if they buy a broadcom chipset for the wifi, then I would imagine Broadcom already paid.

  • Tony Allen

    Curiously, what kind of WiFi patent on a mobile device does Nokia have that doesn't pertain to any mobile device with WiFi?

  • GlennStile

    It just gets worse by the day, I feel sorry for the Americans, You need to get your patent system fixed.   

    We don't have the same problems here in the UK but then we don't have a company like Apple striving to be our overlords, destroying every other competing product with petty insignificant patents. I mean really... slide to unlock ?!?! I've seen Roman gates with a slide to unlock mechanism, who gave a patent on that bollocks ?!?

  • GlennStile

    They may have paid the license vicariously i.e. if they have bought a chipset that has a license already then neither Google or Asus would have to pay.  Apple had a similar situation with wifi chips they bought through qualcomm   

  • http://twitter.com/Bazar6 B Azar

    At least they're playing fair and bringing it to light, instead of slamming down a multi-million dollar suit right out of the gate ... but with Google making $0 on the Nexus7, I guess the royalty will have to come out of ASUS' pockets, if they decide to license and say out of court.

  • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

    I just cant work out how Nokia has patents on wi-fi that Google or ASUS wouldnt know about. It is basically impossible that they would have forgotten to license something that ASUS will have licensed on every other tablet they produce and which Google will have licensed on every other Nexus device.

    Or has Google and ASUS licensed a patent from Motorola this time so there will be another round of patent wars?

    Either way Google getting involved directly with this and the GNex being pulled is a great thing for consumers moving us a step further to stopping this madness after they start throwing around their weight and extremely huge patent portfolio.

    • John O’Connor

      my sentiments exactly.  How have soooooo many (licensed?) products come out from so many manufacturers concerning wifi? surprising that no one has been sued if this is such a large issue

  • Jon Garrett

    If your product sucks and you're loosing market share and revenues by huge chunks simple adopt the apple business model and become a patent troll. 

  • cooldoods

    i find it hard to believe that ASUS is not a licensee for wifi, they've been producing wifi-enabled devices for years.

  • master94

    Just pay, I'm sick of this patent shit.

  • amatya bipul

    i like the way u ended this article or paragragh or small group of sentence or whatever

  • http://twitter.com/suppymaria Maria Nita

    It's not about every product on this planet that uses wi-fi,it's about this specific product.
    And don't go hating on Nokia. I remember when they did the same thing to Apple. Apple then started spewing the same shit about them being innovators and they want other companies to stop stealing their tehnology, but in the end they had to settle and paid Nokia either 500 million dollars or 800 million, plus they licensed for free some software tehnology to Nokia for symbian.
    What i'm trying to say is that Nokia isn't a patent troll, nor does it use the same tactics as Apple. And on another note, Nokia gets around 800 million dollars a year from other companies only from licenses for different tehnologies, from nfc,2g,3g,4g radios and so on.

  • Manojkumar Muralidharan

    Could this patent issue stop the pre-ordered nexus 7 from being shipped ? I mean could it stop just like samsung's Nexus phone in US.

  • sfehrman

    I really like how Nokia has handled this. They are simply bringing it to Google's attention, and if they decide to not pay then obviously they will file a lawsuit. I would imagine it is simply a misunderstanding that they were not licensed and paid. Google probably thought Asus was licensed when they weren't.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cajhne C Rogers

    Google will not pay, Nokia will not sue. Reason: judges have been invalidating patents on "fair use". If Nokia loses those patents, then their current portfolio subscribers are going to stop paying for the rights.