Nokia has filed a brief in support of Apple’s bid to secure permanent injunctions against several Samsung Electronics phones, making the Finnish smartphone maker the only outside group to come forward in backing the iPhone maker’s appeal.
The full brief filed on Monday at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington is currently sealed. In an accompanying summary, however, Nokia argued that a trial court judge got it wrong when she denied Apple’s request for a permanent injunction.
Apple and Nokia were onetime adversaries in the smartphone patent wars. Nokia sued Apple in 2009 before the California company launched its legal campaign against Android manufacturers. The two companies settled in 2011, with Apple paying Nokia undisclosed royalties.
In the filing on Monday, Nokia attorney Keith Broyles from Alston & Bird argued that US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, erred by ruling that Apple must establish a “causal nexus” between its patented feature and the demand for its phones in order to secure a permanent injunction.
Such a rule “could cause wide-ranging damage to the United States patent protection landscape,” Nokia said.
The deadline for amicus filings on behalf of Apple was February 19, but Nokia asked for a 14-day extension to submit its brief. The Federal Circuit granted Nokia’s request.
Besides Nokia, a review of the case docket shows, no other companies or advocacy groups have filed amicus briefs in support of Apple. An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Samsung’s brief is not due for several weeks, and amici that support the South Korean company will have their opportunity to file briefs after Samsung tenders its written arguments.
In Nokia’s filing, Broyles wrote that Nokia’s interest is to advocate for patent rights as a means of fostering innovation.
“Nokia has recently been involved in numerous US patent lawsuits, as both a plaintiff and defendant,” Broyles wrote. “Nokia is thus both a significant patent owner that might seek an injunction to protect its patent rights, and a manufacturer in an industry in which patent owners routinely issue threats of injunctions for patent infringement.”
Apple had asked the Federal Circuit to fast-track its appeal and immediately hear it before the full court. However, the court rejected that request and assigned the case to a three-judge panel to hear it first.
The case is Apple Inc v Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 13-1129.