The future of the entire line of Apple products continues to look very bright indeed, thanks in part to the International Trade Commission’s March 23, 2011 ruling in favor of the technology giant in its ongoing patent battle with Nokia. Dating back to 2009, the two companies have been locked in litigation over, among other issues, Nokia’s allegation that the iPhone and iPad 3G represented infringement upon several patents held by Nokia. The ruling is an extremely positive outcome for Apple, as the ITC holds the authority to halt imports into the United States of products found to infringe upon the intellectual property of others, and a ruling in the opposite direction could have been dire indeed. Though the entire ITC court still must declare its concurrence with Judge James Gildea’s ruling in the matter, the initial victory bolsters Apple’s prospects significantly.
The lengthy patent wars between Apple and Nokia are so critical because they have great bearing on the future of the worldwide market for portable devices such as the iPad, iPod and iPhone, among other Apple products. Because the stakes in the battle are so high, almost immediately after the initial ITC ruling in Apple’s favor, Nokia filed yet another complaint alleging that the iPhone and other products infringe upon seven patents related to data synching, operating systems, call quality, and other tablet, computer, and phone features. Therefore, it appears that the recent ITC ruling was simply the conclusion to one battle in an ongoing war.
Despite the protracted patent litigation, Apple products such as the iPad 2 show enormous promise in terms of breaking into previously limited market sectors. Specifically, many industry observers believe that the newest incarnation of the popular tablet device has the potential to gain ground in the elusive enterprise segment. Business users can benefit from the appealing price structure and the fact that no premium is attached for enterprise clients. Additionally, Apple has launched its Joint Venture service intended to support small business users of its products. Further making the iPad 2 a logical choice for enterprise customers is the proliferation of business applications which have launched in recent days. Dictation, file sharing programs and PC synchronizing applications are now available, making device integration that much simpler for business clients.