Nokia claims Google Nexus 7 violates its patents

The Google Nexus 7 hasn't even been released yet, but the Android 4.1-based seven inch tablet is already under attack for alleged patent violations. Nokia has sent out a statement saying that the Nexus 7, made by Asus, doesn't currently have a license to use patents that Nokia claims to own.

The Inquirer reports that the patents that Nokia feels the Nexus 7 is in violation of have to deal with the IEEE 802.11 WiFi standard. in its statement, Nokia said:

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.

Google has yet to comment on Nokia's allegations, while Asus said it won't be commenting yet on Nokia's claims. Announced last week as part of their Google I/O developer conference, the Nexus 7 will be the first device that will come with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) out of the box. The $199 device is scheduled to be released later in July and Google is currently taking pre-orders for the tablet.

Source: The Inquirer

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78 Comments

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Shouldn't it be the chipset maker (ie. Broadcom) and not the OEM who gets the licenses for their products?

The article is really weird because it quotes a Nokia rep saying that "Neither Google nor Asus is licensed under our patent portfolio", when it's obvious that Asus has been using the allegedly infringing components in a lot of their other products.

If they actually meant "licensed for that specific product" then it's still weird: why would Asus get licenses for every single product they are selling and not for the Nexus7?

There's one thing in all this that the article is missing: Nokia didn't went out on their own to state anything implying that Google or Samsung are infringing. This news piece begun in an article by Florian Mueller where he was guessing if, maybe, the Nexus7 might be infringing some patents from Nokia.

He contacted Nokia to ask if they had a license and a rep answered that "Neither Google nor Asus is licensed under our patent portfolio". That means exactly that, whether the Nexus7 is infringing is just a wild guess.

And now that we're talking about Florian Mueller, I thoght that he had lost all credibility after the Oracle fiasco.

And you stop defending Apple cos they are unholy than most evil creations!

GoodGame and now to the article, Yeah dog eat dog where they can, this will pass!!!

Anyway what's for dessert

I think Google don't liked that other companies violate it main core patent (PageRank).

Google stop ...and focus on your business (search, marketing). Tomorrow someone can make a new web search better than you. Go Apple!!!

And you, stop defend Google!!! It's not a Saint!

Not sure I get this... Asus make laptops, which have WiFi... Nokia aren't moaning about that so they must be licensed... Don't the licenses for that cover tablets!?

Meh... 802.11 licenses will come under FRAND anyway, so aren't going to be expensive.

FloatingFatMan said,
Not sure I get this... Asus make laptops, which have WiFi... Nokia aren't moaning about that so they must be licensed... Don't the licenses for that cover tablets!?

Meh... 802.11 licenses will come under FRAND anyway, so aren't going to be expensive.

Each piece of hardware a company makes has to have its own license.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Each piece of hardware a company makes has to have its own license.

The questions is, since Asus has been releasing devices with the same kind of WiFi capabilities as the Nexus7, it's strange that none of them (not the laptops and not the Transformer) were infringing but the Nexus 7 was.

Like I said, each device needs its own license. It doesn't matter if your previous one had it or not you need to get a new one for each device you put out.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Like I said, each device needs its own license. It doesn't matter if your previous one had it or not you need to get a new one for each device you put out.

I know what you said, and while I don't know the terms of Nokia licenses it just strikes me as odd that Asus would have adquired a license for each of their previous gazillion products but not for the Nexus7.

All you people saying that Nokia is another patent troll need to look up what patents Nokia holds. Nokia holds patents on GSM, UMTS (3G WCDMA) and WLAN standards, if they wanted to they could stop google selling any phones (or tablets that use 3G or IEEE Wifi) at all or they could have just sued Google out right this time but they didn't. Deal with it.

NightCrawlerInfinity said,
So why hasn't Nokia sued yet? Me thinks it's BS
Because it is cheaper and smarter to try and work it out like civilized people first?

The level of sycophancy on Neowin is absolutely ridiculous. If it's a hand Microsoft are involved in the cheerleaders will happily plot the demise of their rival like the useful fools that they are, blissfully unaware that having competition in markets helps consumers.

Oh sorry I think that's too intellectual for some of these posters, so let me sum up the prevailing attitude that I see on Neowin in a single idiot-proof sentence:

"Mikeroesoft is the awesomest company evar!!! Google sux0rz teh big 111ononeoneon"

simplezz said,

If you can't beat 'em, patent troll 'em

Nokia holds some very important patents as does RIM btw. Idiots like Google should start to be very careful where they step. If both these companies ever started to react as Apple have just done, Google would be DOA. I wish Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Nokia stepped this up and send google back to where they belong.

I guess Nokia is taking a page out of Microsoft's book, or perhaps some coordinated attack. It's the newest patent troll wannabe on the block.

There seems to be a pattern here. Only companies that are failing or fear competition in a market initiate these trolling activities.

Microsoft and Νοkia can collude all they like against Android and GNU/Linux, but they'll still fail because they just can't compete.


How do you think ANY company should respond if you know your competitor's product is using patented items without a license?

Nokia is saying that the Nexus 7 uses patented items that require a license. Nokia is will to working with Google & Asus to make sure the required licenses are met.

simplezz said,
I guess Nokia is taking a page out of Microsoft's book, or perhaps some coordinated attack. It's the newest patent troll wannabe on the block.

There seems to be a pattern here. Only companies that are failing or fear competition in a market initiate these trolling activities.

Microsoft and Νοkia can collude all they like against Android and GNU/Linux, but they'll still fail because they just can't compete.

The pattern that failing companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft sue each other?

It's hardly patent trolling, rather than suing they are just asking Asus to pay what any other company does to use Nokia's patents.

simplezz said,
I guess Nokia is taking a page out of Microsoft's book, or perhaps some coordinated attack. It's the newest patent troll wannabe on the block.

There seems to be a pattern here. Only companies that are failing or fear competition in a market initiate these trolling activities.

Microsoft and Νοkia can collude all they like against Android and GNU/Linux, but they'll still fail because they just can't compete.

Google and Linux community = the biggest bunch of trolls and whiners I have ever seen. Linux is a huge threat to Microsoft yes I see that happening. Nokia is protecting what is there's and what they have invested time and money in, there is nothing wrong with asking for the license. Android will ultimately fail in the long term as oems will not want to shoulder the cost for licensing and the threat of being sued.

google and anything android are the just a violation waiting to happen, so much for android being free, I bet it now costs a pretty penny to run android on any device.

korupt_one said,
google and anything android are the just a violation waiting to happen, so much for android being free, I bet it now costs a pretty penny to run android on any device.

Microsoft also claims the Linux kernel violates their patents, yet Linus Torvalds recently invalidated one of them that Microsoft's been using to extort GNU/Linux for years - FAT.

Or perhaps the Oracle case where Oracle's Java patents have effectively been rendered impotent.

simplezz said,

Microsoft also claims the Linux kernel violates their patents, yet Linus Torvalds recently invalidated one of them that Microsoft's been using to extort GNU/Linux for years - FAT.

Or perhaps the Oracle case where Oracle's Java patents have effectively been rendered impotent.


yeah, FAT isnt developed by MS. Neither is NTFS.
And several android patent deals are for active sync, which is patented by MS. And a cell phone without exchange support.. they all need/want it

And the major reason why MS stopped charging linux is open invention network, which gathered a bucket load of OS related patents, which surely is one that MS violates with windows
MS is not willing (yet) to into legal battle with IBM, Sony, philips and NEC.
They're currently just in a cease fire conserning PC OS patents.
Besides if they would unleash havoc in desktop OS's patents... we will all lose:(

Here comes another patent troll.

And these patents are getting ridiculously lame.

I have this patent, you infringe it now I'll sue you to death or you pay me fees to use it.

Chica Ami said,
Here comes another patent troll.

And these patents are getting ridiculously lame.

I have this patent, you infringe it now I'll sue you to death or you pay me fees to use it.


nokia is a patent troll?? they are being very civilized in their approach, rather than just slapping a ludicrous fee. at least nokia is letting google know before their product comes out rather than wait after it is released. I don't see how you came to the conclusion that nokia is a patent troll...

Not really news. Google will just license the patents if it decided it needs to do so and is infringing on Nokias patents. At least it looks like Nokia is willing to do so...license the patents.

techbeck said,
Not really news. Google will just license the patents if it decided it needs to do so and is infringing on Nokias patents. At least it looks like Nokia is willing to do so...license the patents.

The question is why did Nokia wait till now to start making threats? Perhaps their dismal financial state is playing a part in it.

And why release a public statement about it rather than making a deal with Google? If it smells like FUD it usually is.

simplezz said,

The question is why did Nokia wait till now to start making threats? Perhaps their dismal financial state is playing a part in it.

And why release a public statement about it rather than making a deal with Google? If it smells like FUD it usually is.

maybe Nokia didnt release the article...maybe the press caught wind of it and then approached Nokia.

Chicane-UK said,
Ok. Bored now. Please please reform the patent system

You do realize that IEEE patent ain't something like "You-cant-sell-round-phones" patent? Nokia has actually developed and worked out most of its patents.

Chicane-UK said,
Ok. Bored now. Please please reform the patent system

But we're not in the climax of patent war yet...

rfirth said,

Nokia isn't suing them...

They wouldn't announce it if they were not getting ready to..

They probably contacted them privately first.. got blown off, so this is the public warning shot, before the documents are served and both sides start paying out legal fees..

Ryoken said,
They wouldn't announce it if they were not getting ready to..

They probably contacted them privately first.. got blown off, so this is the public warning shot, before the documents are served and both sides start paying out legal fees..

Or the press got wind of the story and released it. No telling if Nokia contacted Google and what Google's reaction was. I am sure Google will release a statement in the next couple of days.

rfirth said,

Nokia isn't suing them...

Threatening is the next best thing. It also has the added bonus of spreading FUD, which is a tactic preferred by Microsoft, and since Microsoft now effectively controls Νοkia via Elop, the servant copies the master.


Companies who are not yet licensed under our standard essential patents should simply approach us and sign up for a license.

How civilized!

Hambone72 said,

Contrast Nokia's approach against Googorola's ridiculous asking price for their H.264 patents.

lol so true. annual $4bn for h.264 is just ridiculous on google-moto's part.

Hambone72 said,

Contrast Nokia's approach against Googorola's ridiculous asking price for their H.264 patents.

Motorola isn't suing Nokia. And besides, it's no more than Microsoft is asking for on each Android device. If Microsoft doesn't like the heat it should get out of the patent trolling kitchen.

simplezz said,

Motorola isn't suing Nokia. And besides, it's no more than Microsoft is asking for on each Android device. If Microsoft doesn't like the heat it should get out of the patent trolling kitchen.

The hate has blinded you, Googorola is asking $4bn every year from MS for FRAND patents, whereas MS is asking $5 per android for their patents. Their is a fee decided for FRAND patents that every company pays, but asking $4bn is ridiculous.

Hambone72 said,

Contrast Nokia's approach against Googorola's ridiculous asking price for their H.264 patents.

Nokia hasn't approached anything or anyone. As far as we know, so far the only one who has said anything about infringement or licenses is Florian Mueller.

You know, the same Florian Mueller that was so sure about the demise of Google in the Oracle case.

Would be nice if Google actually started paying up instead of stealing everyone's licenses left and right.

.Neo said,
Would be nice if Google actually started paying up instead of stealing everyone's licenses left and right.

MS and its allies don't seem to be falling over themselves to license the 1000's of patents Google bought from IBM, it works both ways you know.

thealexweb said,

MS and its allies don't seem to be falling over themselves to license the 1000's of patents Google bought from IBM, it works both ways you know.

Are MS infringing any of those licenses?

DomZ said,

Are MS infringing any of those licenses?

Given how shakey most patent cases are it shows you don't need a strong case to go ahead with a lawsuit, there is almost defiantly at least one that MS would be violating,

.Neo said,
Would be nice if Google actually started paying up instead of stealing everyone's licenses left and right.

Would be nice if the patent system is over hauled and companies would play ball and work thru these issues BEFORE is starts hurting innovation, creativity, and the consumers. This is a minor issue that will more than likely be resolved out of court.

DomZ said,

Are MS infringing any of those licenses?

You can't make a mobile device without supposedly infringing on the overly broad patents in use today.

.Neo said,
Would be nice if Google actually started paying up instead of stealing everyone's licenses left and right.

Would be nice (from the perspective of news accuracy) if Nokia had actually said anything about Asus and Google infringing any patents, because so far this is nothing more than Florian Mueller's brainfart.

Somehow, someone here is gonna find a way to blame this on Apple, being that they are the only company that protects it's patents..

Ryoken said,
Somehow, someone here is gonna find a way to blame this on Apple, being that they are the only company that protects it's patents..

No because Apple don't ask companies to buy licences to the patents. They sneak around and try to ban the product once released or make big profits on it. Nokia are at least coming out publicly before it's going on sale and they are just asking for them to pay the licence fee. Hopefully the fee isn't ridiculous.

Difference between protecting your patents and trolling the patent system.

Gaffney said,

No because Apple don't ask companies to buy licences to the patents. They sneak around and try to ban the product once released or make big profits on it. Nokia are at least coming out publicly before it's going on sale and they are just asking for them to pay the licence fee. Hopefully the fee isn't ridiculous.

Difference between protecting your patents and trolling the patent system.

If you infringe on a patent, how did Apple KNOW that you were going to do it ? Apple's not supposed to run around asking people if they want to license something ... If you want something they own, YOU have to ask.

What a ridiculous statement.

Gaffney said,

No because Apple don't ask companies to buy licences to the patents. They sneak around and try to ban the product once released or make big profits on it. Nokia are at least coming out publicly before it's going on sale and they are just asking for them to pay the licence fee. Hopefully the fee isn't ridiculous.

Difference between protecting your patents and trolling the patent system.

It's up to the person/company using it to seek permission and a deal. It is NOT up to Apple to instigate every companies products in development to find out if they use their patents, then offer a deal before release.

Maybe you want Apple to ask every company every few days if they are using any of their patents, and if so, pay up ? Cause How does Apple know if HP or Nokia or whatever is gonna use their patent, until after they do it, then announce it.

Also, it's worth noting, most companies Apple is in legal battles with over patents, have actually purchased the rights to Other patents from Apple.. They know how it works.. They either a) feel they are not infringing, honestly, b) figured they could get away with it, or c) figure they can settle during the court process for a better deal than if they had just asked first..

Gaffney said,

Difference between protecting your patents and trolling the patent system.

Actually its the difference between ESSENTIAL patents (try reading the article again) which Nokia are forced to license because they are essential to the way mobile devices work (and companies, including Apple are forced to license them) and OTHER patents such as design related which ARE NOT ESSENTIAL to the way a phone works, for example..

Spirit Dave said,

If you infringe on a patent, how did Apple KNOW that you were going to do it ? Apple's not supposed to run around asking people if they want to license something ... If you want something they own, YOU have to ask.

What a ridiculous statement.

When they find out they can ask the infringer to get a license rather than suing and seeking a ban.

Also there's no way you can track every patent for every piece of hardware and every software algorithm you implement.

Ryoken said,
Somehow, someone here is gonna find a way to blame this on Apple, being that they are the only company that protects it's patents..
Well to be fair, Apple is the only company that's tried to patent the rectangle.

greenwizard88 said,
Well to be fair, Apple is the only company that's tried to patent the rectangle.

Rounded rectangles, they don't own corners.

greenwizard88 said,
Well to be fair, Apple is the only company that's tried to patent the rectangle.

Wedges. Don't forget about the wedges!

greenwizard88 said,
Well to be fair, Apple is the only company that's tried to patent the rectangle.
Doesn't MS hold a patent on Rectangular buttons ?

Hey, I don't agree with a lot of patents out there.. They are vague, and cover far too much.. But that's not my call, they Exist. They are Legal. Don't like the system, change it, but ignoring it and ranting each time solves nothing..

And the reason the patent system isn't changing, is because Samsung, and Google, and Nokia, MS, etc, all own their own boatloads of vague patents that they license and make loads of money from.. They only hate the system when they get caught in it, but when it helps them, it's wonderful.. It's why they aren't spending millions/billions to change the laws.

Ryoken said,
Somehow, someone here is gonna find a way to blame this on Apple, being that they are the only company that protects it's patents..

Why? This isnt even about Apple. Nokia and Google/Asus...read the OP.

techbeck said,

Why? This isnt even about Apple. Nokia and Google/Asus...read the OP.

Because I haven't seen a Patent thread in 2 years where someone didn't bring up Apple being the cause of all Patent problems in the world..

Farchord said,
Oh come on now this is ridiculous...

Nokia just wants licensing costs.. which is pretty fair in my opinion.. if they were just trying to get an import ban then that's pretty weak but they are trying to get the cost of the device to a competitive price. Asus should just pay the licensing fees and be legit instead of trying to drag this out so the tablet is $199 and not $210

PatrynXX said,

like Windows , it's like the taxcode. thick and idiotic.

Nokia is not like Apple, they just want them to join the patent portfolio and the competition will be the same, not like Apple, they just want to rip apart everyone!

Lachlan said,

Nokia just wants licensing costs.. which is pretty fair in my opinion.. if they were just trying to get an import ban then that's pretty weak but they are trying to get the cost of the device to a competitive price. Asus should just pay the licensing fees and be legit instead of trying to drag this out so the tablet is $199 and not $210

you are talking as if Asus infringed on the patents. Do you know what patent Nokia is claiming or if the claim was right or not?
jumping in to conclusions or a hater.

Farchord said,
Oh come on now this is ridiculous...

Why? If google-moto want to charge ms for $4bn annual for h.264, nokia's wants are reasonable. All they have to do is sign up and pay the fees that everyone else does.

still1 said,

you are talking as if Asus infringed on the patents. Do you know what patent Nokia is claiming or if the claim was right or not?
jumping in to conclusions or a hater.

Be quiet. I'm sure he's a patent expert. /sarcasm