Nokia Engages In Patent Battle Against Fellow Cellphone Manufacturers

Earlier this year, Nokia Technologies OY had launched a patent infringement lawsuit at the Commercial Court of Central Jakarta against PT Bright Mobile Telecommunication, local manufacturer for Chinese-base cellular phones brand OPPO. Nokia as the plaintiff alleged that defendant has infringed its Indonesian patent IDP000031183 for the invention entitled “Pitch Lag Estimation” by using features and technology as claimed by the registered patent in cellular phone devices manufactured and marketed by the defendant.

Aside from demand for the defendant to cease from using its patented technology without any proper licence in their products, in the lawsuit Nokia also seek for payment of damages in the claimed amount of IDR 689.7 billion, or equal to USD 45 million.

The lawsuit was just another addition to a series of patent infringement lawsuits launched by Nokia against several Chinese-based cell-phone brands since last year, which has occurred not only in Indonesia. In July last year, in Indonesia alone Nokia already launched four patent infringement lawsuits against PT Bright Mobile Telecommunication as well as against PT Selalu Bahagia Bersama, another local Indonesian manufacturing company for Oppo and RealMe brands.

 Two of the earlier lawsuits were for Indonesian Patent IDP000031184 for invention entitled “Additional modulation information signaling for high-speed downlink packet access”, while two others were for Indonesian Patent IDP000030632 for invention entitled “Method and apparatus for conveying antenna configuration information via masking”.

Nokia admitted that both defendants had previously used features and technology covered by both patents under patent licensing agreements, but that negotiation for licensing renewals was later rejected by the two manufacturing companies, which prompted Nokia to launch the lawsuits due to continuous use of its invention without any license. The defendants, on the other hand, claimed that negotiation was still ongoing when Nokia decided to take legal action notwithstanding. Similar with the later 2022 lawsuit, for each of the 2001 lawsuits Nokia also sought for damages in the amount of IDR 597.3 billion. This made the total amount of damages sought by the four lawsuits to reach IDR 2,3 trillion.

All the 2021 lawsuits had been decided by the Commercial Court as of July 2022 in favour of defendant, by declaring that the lawsuits cannot be accepted.  Against these decisions, Nokia had decided to use its option to file for cassation to the Supreme Court.

One of the arguments that came from the defendants was that Nokia had addressed the lawsuit to the wrong entity. Although each of the defendants is a legal entity of its own rights, they merely carry on the local manufacturing process on behalf of their principal abroad. Therefore, according to the representative of one defendant, any lawsuits pertaining to the technology used in the products shall be addressed directly to the principal instead of to the local manufacturing company.

According to the online information system of the Commercial Court of Central Jakarta, as of March 2022 Nokia had again filed three lawsuits against another local company representing a Chinese-based cell phone brand, PT Vivo Mobile Indonesia. In the still absence of full accessible documents, it may be assumed that the three lawsuits are again for the three patents that had been the core of Nokia’s previous lawsuit against Oppo and RealMe.


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