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Thursday, 4 November 2004

BIG FIGHT IN VIEW FOR HANDSET MAKERS - BUT WHERE'S THE VENUE?

The Register brings news of what looks like some interesting litigation between phone giants Nokia and a couple of nuisance competitors, handset makers Sagem (France) and Vitelcom (Spain). Alas, the news item doesn't tell us the things we really want to know. For example

* Which IP rights is it alleged that Sagem and Vitelcom have infringed? Could be one or more of the following: national trade mark rights, Community trade mark rights, national registered design right, national unregistered design right, Community registered design right, Community unregistered design right, artistic copyright, patents - or an action for unfair competition, passing off or slavish imitation.

* In which country or countries is the litigation being launched? Given that handsets are not only highly portable but also importable and exportable, litigation could happen almost anywhere -- perhaps with the prospect of (i) a battle as to which court or courts should retain jurisdiction and/or (ii) the chance of a pan-European court order.

The IPKat begs his readers -- if you know the answers to any of these questions, do please post them as Comments below.

More on handsets here, here and here

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

According to this article on ZDnet [French], the lawsuit against Sagem is being filed in Germany.

IMHO, in this country artistic copyright might not be granted to telephones' appearance.

Frédéric

Anonymous said...

The Vitelcom suit is for infringement of patents covering GSM and GPRS, according to http://www.vnunet.com/news/1159174 (among other sources). No word as to venue, other than that it is a "European complaint".

The Sagem complaint alleges that a Sagem phone (the myX5-2) infringes Nokia's registered design - according to http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=615428§ion=finance.

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