Apple scores patent victory against Nokia--for now

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) notched a victory in its long-simmering patent feud with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) after a judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission said that Apple's products were not in violation of five of Nokia's patents. 

Despite the ruling, which came Friday from Judge E. James Gildea, the legal battle between the world's largest handset maker and its smartphone rival is far from over. The judge's ruling will be reviewed by the six-member commission, which can block the importation of products that violate U.S. patents. Nokia brought its case to the ITC in December 2009.

"While we don't agree that there has been no violation, we'll wait to see the details of the ruling before we decide on any next steps," Nokia spokeswoman Laurie Armstrong told Bloomberg.

Apple and Nokia have been locked in a legal dispute over patents since October 2009. Both companies have sued each other in federal court and at the ITC. A different judge is reviewing a separate case in which Apple claims Nokia is violating its patents. A ruling on that issue is expected by June 24.

The Apple-Nokia patent spat heralded a wave of mobile patent lawsuits in 2010, which have pitted a range of handset and software makers against one another.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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