Apple, Nokia resolve patent dispute with license agreement

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Nokia announced on Tuesday that it had entered into an agreement with Apple ending a lengthy legal battle between the two corporations, with both companies agreeing to withdraw their complaints to the International Trade Commission.



Nokia, the world's largest smartphone maker since 1996, issued a press release early Tuesday announcing the signed patent license agreement with Apple.



"The agreement will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia and Apple of their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission," the statement read.



As part of the agreement, Apple will make a one-time payment to Nokia, in addition to on-going royalties. The specific details of the agreement remain confidential. AppleInsider has reached out to Apple for comment, but has yet to hear back.



"We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees," said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. "This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."



In the statement, Nokia pointed out that it has invested approximately EUR 43 billion in research and development over the last 20 years, building up a patent portfolio with over 10,000 patent families. The agreement is expected to have a "positive financial impact" on Nokia's quarterly earnings.



Legal pundit Florian Mueller viewed the settlement as a favorable outcome for Apple shareholders, despite the fact that Apple has to pay. According to Mueller, the agreement comes as a "sweet defeat" for Apple because competitors building Android-based devices will also likely have to pay Nokia, possibly paying more per-unit because rival handset makers may have less intellectual property to use as bargaining chips.



"So from a competitive point of view, I don't think Apple loses much. On the bottom line its profitability may even benefit from this because Apple's margins face no greater threat than Android-style commoditization of smartphone technologies," Mueller said.



The two companies became entangled in a legal dispute in 2009 when Nokia sued Apple alleging infringement of ten wireless technology related patents. At the time, the case was characterized as a battle between "two Goliaths" and was expected to last for years.



Since 2009, the two companies have continued to trade lawsuits. Most recently, the ITC ruled that it would conduct a review of two patents in Nokia's infringement case against Apple, while dropping three patents from the investigation. Apple's case against Nokia with the ITC had been due to be decided on June 24.



The Finnish handset maker is currently undergoing a transitional phase from its Symbian platform to Microsoft's Windows Phone. Microsoft is reportedly paying Nokia billions of dollars to make the switch.



"Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivaled global reach and scale. It's now a three-horse race," said Elop, referring to rivals Apple and Google.



Some analysts believe, however, that Apple has a golden opportunity while Nokia readies its first Windows Phone devices. Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets believes the Nokia-Microsoft partnership may actually accelerate share gains for Apple.



Though Nokia has long held the crown as the top global smartphone maker, a recent prediction from a Japanese market analysis firm sees Samsung and Apple overtaking the company by the end of this quarter. Earlier this year, Apple surpassed Nokia to become the world's largest mobile phone maker in terms of revenue.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 134
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    It will be interesting to revisit the original threads in this topic
  • Reply 2 of 134
    madwebmadweb Posts: 4member
    It will be interesting to see what happens on Wall Street tomorrow.
  • Reply 3 of 134
    sailorpaulsailorpaul Posts: 319member
    Is this a typo that reverses the meaning of the prior sentence? "....Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets believes the Nokia-Microsoft partnership may actually accelerate share gains from Apple."



    Based on the prior sentence is the intent actually "...share gains FOR Apple." ??
  • Reply 4 of 134
    Looks like the original* copycats always ends paying to the real innovators. haha!



    *Xerox Alto. Remember it?
  • Reply 5 of 134
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Good to see this resolved and resolved outside out of the courtroom too.
  • Reply 6 of 134
    _hawkeye__hawkeye_ Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Finnish handset maker is currently undergoing a transitional phase from its Symbian platform to Microsoft's Windows Phone.



    That should read: ?The Finnish handset maker is currently undergoing a transitional phase from its Symbian platform to the grave.?
  • Reply 7 of 134
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,234member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ricardo Dawkins View Post


    Looks like the original* copycats always ends paying to the real innovators. haha!



    *Xerox Alto. Remember it?



    There are more accurate sources of information than Hollywood you know.
  • Reply 8 of 134
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,334member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...AppleInsider has reached out to Apple for comment, but has yet to hear back.



    Do you ever hear back?
  • Reply 9 of 134
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    Good news is always welcome.



    I guess apple aren’t always that innovative after all.



    The big question now is will Nokia make more money in 2015 from the sale of windows phones or from royalties from iPhone / iPad sales?



    Quote:

    "We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees," said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. "This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."



    And of course, which company will Nokia go after next. My guess is HTC because they are on track to sell over 40 million smartphones this calendar year.
  • Reply 10 of 134
    drdbdrdb Posts: 99member
    Apple always recognised that they needed to pay Nokia for these licenses (they are mainly to do with mobile phone technology Nokia developed with others well before Apple got into phones). The dispute was over the terms. Nokia were demanding larger royalties from Apple than from other manufacturers, so Apple threw their own patents back at Nokia. Now they've finally agreed terms, terms we'll probably never know.
  • Reply 11 of 134
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nairb View Post


    And of course, which company will Nokia go after next. My guess is HTC because they are on track to sell over 40 million smartphones this calendar year.





    Why? HTC has licensed Nokia patents
  • Reply 12 of 134
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drdb View Post


    Nokia were demanding larger royalties from Apple than from other manufacturers, so Apple threw their own patents back at Nokia. Now they've finally agreed terms, terms we'll probably never know.



    That's what Apple said, do you know how much other companies pay and what Apple was asked to pay?
  • Reply 13 of 134
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,603member
    I would imagine that it was pressure from Microsoft to resolve this dispute quickly before they buy Nokia out, lol.
  • Reply 14 of 134
    jahonenjahonen Posts: 364member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drdb View Post


    The dispute was over the terms. Nokia were demanding larger royalties from Apple than from other manufacturers.



    Again, like so many times before: Said who? Apple said so, Nokia denied. Unless the papers become public, we will never know.



    Just because Apple thinks terms are not fair doesn't meant they aren't fair. It may be that Apple just felt that way. Fair you see is often a pretty subjective term especially if you've never licenced on F/RAND terms before.



    Regs, Jarkko
  • Reply 15 of 134
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drdb View Post


    Apple always recognised that they needed to pay Nokia for these licenses (they are mainly to do with mobile phone technology Nokia developed with others well before Apple got into phones). The dispute was over the terms. Nokia were demanding larger royalties from Apple than from other manufacturers, so Apple threw their own patents back at Nokia. Now they've finally agreed terms, terms we'll probably never know.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post


    That's what Apple said, do you know how much other companies pay and what Apple was asked to pay?



    What Apple said was that Nokia wanted cross licensing. Meaning they were welling to license their standard technology to Apple if Apple license back some of their nonstandard IP.



    But now Nokia are not going to use their own OS for their smartphones. So Apple's IP are not that much important. Money is.
  • Reply 16 of 134
    gromitgromit Posts: 37member
    // Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities //



    A company clearly in trouble when its way forward is to rely on licensing its past innovations to make money. Which company did Eeyore come from?
  • Reply 17 of 134
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    What Apple said was that Nokia wanted cross licensing. Meaning they were welling to license their standard technology to Apple if Apple license back some of their nonstandard IP.



    Nokia cross licences their patents with lots of companies, what is your point?
  • Reply 18 of 134
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,678member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    Nokia cross licences their patents with lots of companies, what is your point?



    His point was that Apple didn't want to cross-licence. It was written clearly.
  • Reply 19 of 134
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    What Apple said was that Nokia wanted cross licensing. Meaning they were welling to license their standard technology to Apple if Apple license back some of their nonstandard IP.



    Well, that's what Apple said. We don't know nor the original terms nor the new ones, only what the two compnaies have said.
  • Reply 20 of 134
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


    His point was that Apple didn't want to cross-licence. It was written clearly.



    No it wasn't. He implied that Apple's patents were more important than Nokia's, which clearly they are not.
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