Apple beefs up legal team for fight with Nokia

It’s boom time for lawyers, with Apple hiring them by the truckload to help it see off Nokia in an intellectual property dispute being heard by the International Trade Commission this week.

Nokia sued Apple in October last year, claiming the iPhone – and, later, all Apple products – infringed its patents. It filed a complaint with the ITC two months later.

Apple has since countersued, calling for imports of Nokia phones into the US to be blocked.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s hired some of the top patent lawyers in the country. These include Robert Krupka of Kirkland & Ellis, who previously struck a settlement deal with Creative Technology under which Apple paid it $100 million, and William Lee of WilmerHale in Boston, who helped Broadcom win a patent battle against Qualcomm.

The company’s also hired an in-house attorney, Noreen Krall, who was previously chief IP counsel for Sun Microsystems.

Apple’s got similar patent battles raging with HTC and Motorola, each including a range of complaints and counter-complaints. Indeed, according to LegalMetric, it’s been the most-sued company in the world for the last two years.

All these disputes are likely to end eventually in some sort of cross-licensing deal – meaning lots more lovely work to come for the lawyers.