You know it had to happen. In this day and age of tech copyright battles where it seems every week has another tech giant suing another over some kind of intellectual property of course Google's new baby, the Nexus 7 had to be pulled into the morass. Nokia went public yesterday with a complaint that the new 7 inch tablet by the Gmail and worldwide search leader infringes on unspecified patents of the Swedish electronics manufacturer best known for its long history of phones.
While not specified, analysts have surmised that the hubbub probably revolves around some 808.11 Wi-Fi patents that are typically licensed from Nokia by other manufacturers. As one Asus rep explained -
“Nokia has more than 40 licensees, mainly for its standards essential patent portfolio, including most of the mobile device manufacturers” the spokesperson explained. “Neither Google nor ASUS is licensed under our patent portfolio. Companies who are not yet licensed under our standard essential patents should simply approach us and sign up for a license.”
Fortunately analysts do not see this as a major issue. As many have explained it is fairly typical in many electronics devices for a series of 'fees' to be paid for various patent licenses as part of the normal development of a product. In fact almost all cellular and Wi-Fi products pay out some license to someone and those fees can range from a few cents to several dollars per device. The patents in question here are probably on the lower end and shouldn't prevent Google from selling the Nexus 7 on schedule.
We'll keep you up to date on any further developments but for now this seems like a minor hiccup that should be solved by a couple of lawyers sitting down for coffee on either side. Welcome to 2012...the year of the patent wars.