When Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction
on those Samsung devices that had infringed on Apple patents according to a jury, Apple appealed the decision. Now, all the way from Finland, Nokia has filed an amicus curiae brief, also known as a "friend of the court" brief, supporting Apple's position. Nokia, as a leading handset manufacturer, is concerned that the court system has turned into a process where patent holders are being forced to license its patents to the competition, something that could lessen the incentive for people to innovate. But that is only one of the reasons for Nokia's presence in this case (more on that later).
Last month, Apple filed its opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ahead of the deadline imposed under appellate rules. This forced Nokia to scramble because while the company had intended to file the amicus curiae brief all along, it had thought that Apple would be filing closer to the deadline
date. Briefs filed in support of the appellate must be filed within 7 days of the appellant's opening brief. The Finnish based company needed to get an extension from the Federal Court which it did receive. Ironically, in June 2011 Nokia settled with Apple and received a large lump sum amount
to settle a patent battle between the two firms.
Nokia is not only getting involved in this case in order to help protect other manufacturers' patent rights, but the company itself is involved in a number of patent battles, which seems to be the norm in the industry. Nokia is involved in an ongoing court battle with HTC and ViewSonic
over patents used in production of Android handsets and might even have to face Apple in court again. In preparation, Nokia has filed this brief just in case it ever finds itself in the position that Apple currently is in.