ITC Staff Say Apple's Patent Allegations Over Nokia Unfounded

The US International Trade Commission kicks off the trial over whether Nokia has violated four Apple patents today, with Apple having requested that Nokia devices be blocked from entering the US.  Still, if we were the Cupertino legal team, we probably wouldn't be buying crates of celebratory champagne quite yet; according to Bloomberg, the staff of the USITC has said it believes "the evidence will not establish a violation."

The staff at the USITC acts as a third-party on behalf of the public in cases such as these, though the judge – in this case Charles Bullock – is not under obligation to rule in the same way that the staff are leaning.  Their opinion is that Apple's patents are either invalid or have not in fact been infringed.

Judge Bullock's ruling isn't expected until February 2011, whereupon it will be subject to a further review scheduled to be completed by the end of June.  Meanwhile Nokia's own case against Apple is expected to begin trial on November 29.

[Thanks Ben!]