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Nokia, which still exists, sues Apple over 32 phone patents

Nokia Technologies -- the mobile patent arm, not the phone development team Microsoft bought and sold -- claims Apple isn't paying what it owes.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Remember when practically every cell phone company was suing every other cell phone company over patented bits of technology that make the devices work? Those days aren't quite over.

Nokia on Wednesday said it's suing Apple over 32 new smartphone tech patents in the US and Europe. Wait, Nokia is still around? It's true.

Microsoft pretty much destroyed the Nokia that built those Snake-playing candy-bar phones we all knew and loved, but it didn't buy all of Nokia back in 2014 -- it left behind a division called Nokia Technologies, which ran the company's patent business. (Nokia has since bought Alcatel-Lucent, which means Nokia's now a major player in the telecom equipment business.)

Anyhow, it's the same Nokia Technologies that's suing Apple over 32 patents, which cover "technologies such as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding," according to the company's press release. (Nokia Technologies also works on Withings smart fitness products, and built the Nokia Ozo 360-degree camera.)

Nokia claims that while Apple did start paying for a number of patents back in 2011, it hasn't been able to reach an agreement with Apple to pay for these 32 additional ones.

Apple, which a day earlier initiated legal action targeting Nokia, took issue with Nokia's latest claims, according to Reuters. "Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis," an Apple spokesman told the news agency, "and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple's own inventions they had nothing to do with."

Mostly unrelated: In August, we spoke to the man who might revive Nokia's phone business.

First published December 21 at 11:06 a.m. PT.
Updated December 22 at 7:22 a.m. PT: Added comment from Apple.