Apple granted Nano SIM-related patent that Nokia is “not aware” of

Once again, the Finnish cell phone giant Nokia is opposing Apple’s proposal for a new requirement related to the emerging Nano SIM card standard, dated back to 2011. According to a rumor yesterday, Apple wants to license its version of the Nano SIM to others royalty-free in exchange for any Nano SIM-related patents held by other companies.

Today, Nokia said in a statement it does not know of any Apple patent related to the iPhone maker’s Nano SIM variant. Essentially, Nokia just slammed Apple’s recent strides aimed at promoting its Nano SIM variant ahead of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) ruling later this week…

According to IDG News Service, a Nokia spokesperson said in an email statement:

We are not aware of any Apple Intellectual Property which it considers essential to its nano-SIM proposal. In light of this, Apple’s proposal for royalty-free licensing seems no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others.

Patently Apple begs to differ, pointing out that the United States Patents & Trademark Office just granted the company a patent related to the ejectable component assemblies which incorporates a design that could include a tray to accommodate both a Nano SIM card and an Integrated Circuit Card.

The blog highlighted a drawing accompanying Apple’s filing, observing:

Apple states that an ejectable component assembly may be any assembly that inserts into and ejects from the device. A removable module may take on a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, integrated circuit cards (ICCs), chip cards, memory cards, flash memory cards, microprocessor cards, smart cards, such as subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, or combinations thereof, containing electronic circuitry from which the device may read data and/or to which the device may write data.

Here’s that drawing…

Nokia also opposed Apple last week by arguing its Nano SIM proposal is technically superior to an Apple-backed solution which requires a tray, meaning phones would need to be re-engineered with this in mind. It’s interesting how Nokia and Apple are both going out of their way aggressively pursuing their respective proposals.

Roughly a third smaller than the Micro SIM utilized on the iPad/iPhone 4/4S, the Apple-backed Nano SIM is basically a Micro SIM stripped of all the plastic, as seen in the below image.

Apple-backed Nano SIM. Source: The Verge

But because it still has the same length as the width of current Micro SIMs, Apple’s Nano SIM risks jamming if users tried to force it into devices, leading to card and product damage, Nokia argues. On the other hand, Nokia’s solution has different dimensions from today’s Micro SIM cards.

Yes, Apple’s solution is thought to benefit the design of the upcoming sixth-generation iPhone, but what’s Nokia up to with their Nano SIM proposal, also backed by RIM and Motorola?

ETSI will discuss Nano SIM proposals later this week at the Smart Card Platform Plenary conference in Sophia Antipolis, Southern France.