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Google Asus Nexus 7 may infringe on Apple, Nokia, Microsoft patents

Google’s newly unveiled Nexus 7 tablet, jointly developed with Asus, may infringe on patents held by Apple, Nokia and Microsoft, and could be the next device to be hit with legal action, alleges Florian Mueller of the FOSS Patents blog.

Given Apple and Google’s contentious history, in which Apple recently gained the upper hand by winning a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Android-powered Galaxy Tab 10.1, it’s likely the company will bring similar complaints against the Nexus 7. Apple has gone after a number of Android devices, manufactured by the likes of Samsung, Motorola and HTC, and Asus might soon make that list.

In the case of Nokia, which holds patents related to standard-essential IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi/WLAN) technology, it has already filed cases against Android devices. The Finnish company, which is struggling to compete in the smartphone market, has said that the Nexus 7 does not license any of its patents.

"Neither Asus [n]or Google is licensed under our patent portfolio,” a Nokia spokesperson told FOSS Patents.

As for Microsoft, the company’s introduction of its line of Surface tablets suggests it may be keen to limit competition in the tablet market, possibly through a legal fight. It’s unclear whether the Nexus 7 holds licenses from Microsoft, but the tech giant is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Google-owned Motorola Mobility, meaning a lawsuit is possible with regards to the Nexus 7.

Though there’s still no confirmation on whether or not any of these companies will pursue legal action against the Nexus 7, the escalating tech patent wars suggest it’s more than likely.