Patent Troll Tracker blogged about the news of this massive lawsuit, reported by Heise Online as follows:
IPcom, an exploiter of patents based in Pullach, near Munich, is demanding 12 billion euros from the Finnish group Nokia for use of mobile telephony patents, reports Handelsblatt. IPCom is said to have lodged a complaint with the Land Court in Mannheim in early January, aimed at prohibiting Nokia's use of eight patent families. That would mean a ban on sales in a large number of countries, though what particular patents are involved is not yet clear.
The IPCom boss, Christoph Schoeller, said negotiations on the licensing of the patents had been going on for a long time, and now his firm's patience was at an end. The Nokia group is reported to be rejecting the claims, asserting that some of the patents are invalid and the fees being claimed are excessive.
News of this multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Nokia by the German-based company, which press reports sometimes refer to as simply IPCom or IP-Com, provoked commentary in The Motley Fool article headlined Have Patent, Will Sue:
No one expects reforms to happen overnight. Particularly when the U.S. government and the entire tech industry deal with the tangled nuances of patent law, positive changes in the system will naturally be slow in coming.
But in the meantime, companies continue to use and abuse patent rights to go after competitors -- or after any entity with deep enough pockets. While many of the industry's larger players, such as Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) and Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), are tangled in more legitimate beefs over patent infringement related to their products, some companies employing only a few lawyers and developing no products continue to sue indiscriminately.
And the cost of damages seems to know no limits. The industry marveled at the $612 million Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) ended up paying to scrappy patent prosecutor NTP, but that's nothing compared with what some are asking for. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) recently got slapped with a lawsuit demanding -- get this -- at least $17.7 billion. The complainant in this case is a German company called IP-Com, bankrolled by Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG).
Our company, IP.com, based in the USA, should not be confused with any other company using a similar name. Information about our company, which serves many leading companies with tools to protect and secure their intellectual property assets, can be found on our corporate website at www.ip.com.
IP.com was founded to fill a growing void in the tools available to the intellectual property community. Our initial product, the IP.com Prior Art Database, was created to provide companies with a fast and effective, centralized outlet for publishing and searching technical disclosures. Since its inception, the IP.com Prior Art Database has continued to grow, attracting high profile clients such as IBM, General Electric, Motorola, Abbott Laboratories, and Eastman Kodak (to name a few).
In our process of developing the Intellectual Property Prior Art Database, we have built a rock-solid, easy-to-use, legally-defensible method for providing verifiable date-stamps and ensuring the integrity (proving they haven't been altered) of electronic files. This technology has become the cornerstone of IP.com's service offerings. We have extended our product line to allow corporations to utilize our innovative file protection (safeguarding) methods on their own private (internal) data using the IP.com Innovation Q or the online IP.com Creative Registry.
The IP.com Innovation Q product combines the legal safeguarding processes along with secured-access search and retrieval to provide a complete solution for safeguarding, searching, and archiving your sensitive data (such as R&D lab notebooks).
Journalists are welcome to contact the CEO of IP.com, Thomas J. Colson, a registered patent attorney, for more information about the company, to get a quote or comment, or to arrange an interview about current issues in patent litigation and intellectual property management for innovative companies.