Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) are finally getting their day in court.
The two companies will face off before the U.S. International Trade Commission this week in a bid to resolve a bitter dispute over smartphone patents that erupted last year. Apple, for its part, has a slew of patent lawyers that will try and make its case before the trade body, which has the power to ban imports if products violate U.S. patents.
Indeed, Apple has hired several high-profile patent lawyers as outside counsel and earlier this year added an in-house lawyer to focus specifically on intellectual property. While the ITC is unlikely to ban imports of whole classes of phones, at stake are potentially large payments as settlements.
The legal battle between Apple and Nokia represents a precursor to similar complaints between Apple and HTC and Apple and Motorola (NYSE:MOT).
Both Apple and HTC have filed patent-infringement claims with the ITC; a trial is expected to begin in February. Meanwhile, Apple and Motorola have each lodged ITC complaints against one another. The ITC said last week that it will review Apple's claims against Motorola. The cases have been seen as proxy fights between Apple and Android proponent Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Android captured 26 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter, compared with 17 percent for Apple's iOS, according to research firm Gartner.
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