Apple and Nokia settle patent dispute, agree to multi-year license

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2017
Apple and Nokia on Tuesday said they have reached settlement in a five-month legal dispute over patent licensing practices, with the Cupertino tech giant agreeing to a multi-year license on the former top cellphone maker's intellectual property.




Apple will pay Nokia patent royalties over the term of the agreement, starting with an up-front cash payment that should be recognized by the second quarter of 2017. Details of the renewed collaboration are being kept confidential.

The settlement extends beyond IP, as Nokia has signed new business agreements to provide Apple with network infrastructure products and services.

Apple in return is restocking its shelves with connected health devices formerly sold under the Withings brand, products that were removed from circulation as a result of the patent row in December. Further, the companies said they are exploring future collaboration on digital health initiatives.

"We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia," said Apple COO Jeff Williams.

To cement the new arrangement and keep the newfound peace, Apple and Nokia plan to hold regular summits between company executives.

Apple sparked the court kerfuffle in December when it leveled a lawsuit against Nokia and nine patent holdings firms, claiming the NPEs are working with Nokia to "extract and extort exorbitant revenues" from Apple and other manufacturers. As part of its opening legal volley, Apple said it would no longer pay Nokia royalties on IP used in products like iPhone.

In response, Nokia sued Apple in 11 countries including Germany and the U.S., alleging violation of 32 patents related to video coding technology, chipsets, antennas, displays and more. Nokia later expanded its legal barrage to 40 active suits worldwide, and sought to block U.S. imports of alleged infringing devices.

The new detente is reminiscent of a patent licensing agreement Apple and Nokia reached in 2011. Prior to being purchased by Microsoft, Nokia filed a number of lawsuits against Apple between 2009 and 2010 claiming infringement of patents covering GSM, camera subsystems and touch input, all key features of iPhone and iPad. Apple retaliated with a countersuit claiming violation of 13 patents.

Ironically, Apple cited the 2011 arrangement as a basis for its legal action in December, saying the deal served as a bedrock for "an illegal patent transfer scheme" involving patent aggregators like Acacia Research and Conversant.

Whether the new agreement will hold is unknown, but executives are hopeful that both companies can move forward without once again resorting to legal measures.

"This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple," said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia. "It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,704member
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    muthuk_vanalingamrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,648member
    As I said, a deal will be made the products will come back… just as they have before.
    mike1pscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 24
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,277member
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 24
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.

    Nothing wrong with the Intel modems. So no, Apple is not screwing with customers.
    mike1jbdragonronnpscooter63repressthisStrangeDaysjony01st
  • Reply 5 of 24
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,879member
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.

    Nothing wrong with the Intel modems. So no, Apple is not screwing with customers.
    True. The only reason Apple still needs Qualcomm is because Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular still use it (in the US) instead of the more global standard of GSM. When I use my Verizon iPhone 6S in Canada, it switches to GSM. Get rid of CDMA and Qualcomm isn't required. 
    jbdragonronnrepressthislostkiwijony0
  • Reply 6 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,517member
    This is interesting. By the way, this article almost follows the announcement word for word.

    what I got out of the announcement is that both Nokia and Apple are tired of the legal nonsense. Apparently, Apple's settlement is somewhat like the 2011 agreement, which is somewhere between what Apple and Nokia claimed. That's typical.

    but I'm surprised by the new cooperation between the two. Nokia today is mostly a network and services company, and that will be useful to Apple. 
    ronnrepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,517member
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Well, to a great extent, they are right. Nokia tried to,smother Apple with licensing fees earlier, which resulted in the first lawsuit. Nokia tried to demand more for SEP patents than FRAND allows. The settlement ended up somewhere between.

    the term "patent troll" makes me uncomfortable. What exactly does it mean? To me, it means an owner of a patent that waits for the device that uses the patent to become very popular before they pounce, hoping to get more than they would have if they sued in the beginning. In other words, it's the intent. But, companies like Qualcomm, Nokia and Samsung, all of which attempted to charge specific customers an order of magnitude (or more) for FRAND patents, could also be called trolls.

    either those companies were in the same business as the companies they trolled, or they felt they had them by the throat.

    the new Supreme Court decision as to where these patent cases will be held is a good thing that should have been done many years ago.

    and, by the way, I'm surprised that you don't understand how business works. It's not PR at all, it's money and constraint.
    edited May 2017 jbdragonronnrandominternetpersonpscooter63repressthisRayz2016SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,517member

    rob53 said:
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.

    Nothing wrong with the Intel modems. So no, Apple is not screwing with customers.
    True. The only reason Apple still needs Qualcomm is because Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular still use it (in the US) instead of the more global standard of GSM. When I use my Verizon iPhone 6S in Canada, it switches to GSM. Get rid of CDMA and Qualcomm isn't required. 
    Either late this year, or next year, Apple won't need Qualcomm as Intel has purchased a second radio company that builds CDMA radios, and has sufficient patents to allow Intel to build.d radios with bothe GSM and CDMA.
    stompyjbdragonronnpscooter63Rayz20161st
  • Reply 9 of 24
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,482member
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Well, to a great extent, they are right. Nokia tried to,smother Apple with licensing fees earlier, which resulted in the first lawsuit. Nokia tried to demand more for SEP patents than FRAND allows. The settlement ended up somewhere between.

    the term "patent troll" makes me uncomfortable. What exactly does it mean? To me, it means an owner of a patent that waits for the device that uses the patent to become very popular before they pounce, hoping to get more than they would have if they sued in the beginning. In other words, it's the intent. But, companies like Qualcomm, Nokia and Samsung, all of which attempted to charge specific customers an order of magnitude (or more) for FRAND patents, could also be called trolls.

    either those companies were in the same business as the companies they trolled, or they felt they had them by the throat.

    the new Supreme Court decision as to where these patent cases will be held is a good thing that should have been done many years ago.

    and, by the way, I'm surprised that you don't understand how business works. It's not PR at all, it's money and constraint.

    Patent troll has a pretty well defined explanation if you look at the patent reform bill and what they were trying to address. Most people think a NPE is automatically a patent troll, which is incorrect. Using this definition, all small inventors are patent trolls because they don't perform large scale manufacturing of a device that uses their invention.

    It's the actions of a patent holder that define whether they are trolls. Things like threatening to sue and demanding a settlement. Suing the end users of a patented device and not the manufacturer. Double dipping on royalties. Jumping straight to a lawsuit without first attempting to negotiate a settlement. Filing vague lawsuits that don't clearly explain the infringement. And so on. And these actions can be carried out by a company that manufacturers devices or a patent holding company. Being the latter doesn't automatically make one a troll, though many of them are.
    jbdragonpscooter63StrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 24
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,111member
    melgross said:

    rob53 said:
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.

    Nothing wrong with the Intel modems. So no, Apple is not screwing with customers.
    True. The only reason Apple still needs Qualcomm is because Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular still use it (in the US) instead of the more global standard of GSM. When I use my Verizon iPhone 6S in Canada, it switches to GSM. Get rid of CDMA and Qualcomm isn't required. 
    Either late this year, or next year, Apple won't need Qualcomm as Intel has purchased a second radio company that builds CDMA radios, and has sufficient patents to allow Intel to build.d radios with bothe GSM and CDMA.
    I have no desire to see Apple solely dependent upon Intel. And I doubt Apple does as well.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,171member
    Honestly, I'm surprised that they reached this deal. Maybe a crystal clear case behind   
    In any case I preferr this to a drawn out series of court cases. 
  • Reply 12 of 24
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,743member
    melgross said:

    rob53 said:
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.

    Nothing wrong with the Intel modems. So no, Apple is not screwing with customers.
    True. The only reason Apple still needs Qualcomm is because Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular still use it (in the US) instead of the more global standard of GSM. When I use my Verizon iPhone 6S in Canada, it switches to GSM. Get rid of CDMA and Qualcomm isn't required. 
    Either late this year, or next year, Apple won't need Qualcomm as Intel has purchased a second radio company that builds CDMA radios, and has sufficient patents to allow Intel to build.d radios with bothe GSM and CDMA.
    I have no desire to see Apple solely dependent upon Intel. And I doubt Apple does as well.
    But it is competition. It's not Qualcomm or the highway.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,517member
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Well, to a great extent, they are right. Nokia tried to,smother Apple with licensing fees earlier, which resulted in the first lawsuit. Nokia tried to demand more for SEP patents than FRAND allows. The settlement ended up somewhere between.

    the term "patent troll" makes me uncomfortable. What exactly does it mean? To me, it means an owner of a patent that waits for the device that uses the patent to become very popular before they pounce, hoping to get more than they would have if they sued in the beginning. In other words, it's the intent. But, companies like Qualcomm, Nokia and Samsung, all of which attempted to charge specific customers an order of magnitude (or more) for FRAND patents, could also be called trolls.

    either those companies were in the same business as the companies they trolled, or they felt they had them by the throat.

    the new Supreme Court decision as to where these patent cases will be held is a good thing that should have been done many years ago.

    and, by the way, I'm surprised that you don't understand how business works. It's not PR at all, it's money and constraint.

    Patent troll has a pretty well defined explanation if you look at the patent reform bill and what they were trying to address. Most people think a NPE is automatically a patent troll, which is incorrect. Using this definition, all small inventors are patent trolls because they don't perform large scale manufacturing of a device that uses their invention.

    It's the actions of a patent holder that define whether they are trolls. Things like threatening to sue and demanding a settlement. Suing the end users of a patented device and not the manufacturer. Double dipping on royalties. Jumping straight to a lawsuit without first attempting to negotiate a settlement. Filing vague lawsuits that don't clearly explain the infringement. And so on. And these actions can be carried out by a company that manufacturers devices or a patent holding company. Being the latter doesn't automatically make one a troll, though many of them are.
    The reform bill doesn't define it in the eyes of most people, who often just define it as someone who sues their favorite company over a patent. I do know what the intended definition is, but whether that will change the meaning in the consciousness of the public is something only the future will know.

    large scale manufacturing has nothing to do with it. Most people would agree that an individual inventor who has attempted to manufacture a product, or take the patent out to licensing, which is what most inventors try to do, would not be a troll if, the patent is a valid contribution to the art, if they genuinely attempted to produce the product, if they attempted to communicate with those using the patent early on before taking it to court and if they were to attempt to obtain a reasonable return.

    as I said, it's the intent, which obviously includes the actions. The intent defines the actions, and the intent gives action to the procedures used.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,517member
    melgross said:

    rob53 said:
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.

    Nothing wrong with the Intel modems. So no, Apple is not screwing with customers.
    True. The only reason Apple still needs Qualcomm is because Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular still use it (in the US) instead of the more global standard of GSM. When I use my Verizon iPhone 6S in Canada, it switches to GSM. Get rid of CDMA and Qualcomm isn't required. 
    Either late this year, or next year, Apple won't need Qualcomm as Intel has purchased a second radio company that builds CDMA radios, and has sufficient patents to allow Intel to build.d radios with bothe GSM and CDMA.
    I have no desire to see Apple solely dependent upon Intel. And I doubt Apple does as well.
    I don't know about that. They have depended upon Qualcomm for years, and it's very likely they would never have considered leaving if Qualcomm hadn't squeezed them.

    i doubt that Intel would try that. If their radios are up to snuff, and the pricing is right, I don't see Apple having a problem with it. You don't see Apple sharing x86 CPU manufacturing between Intel and AMD do you? And it was considered to be extremely unusual, and risky when Apple shared SoC manufacturing between Samsung and TSMC.

    i would be surprised if this year, Intel's radio performance doesn't match that of Qualcomm. If they can produce one with CDMA as well, then that's all Apple needs, as long as it has all the freq bands. If not, then next year. Using two OEMs means more design and testing. The FCC would need more than one model of each phone. More expense and uncertainty.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,915member
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.
    How exactly are you being screwed? Be specific.
    1st
  • Reply 16 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,344member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Well, to a great extent, they are right. Nokia tried to,smother Apple with licensing fees earlier, which resulted in the first lawsuit. Nokia tried to demand more for SEP patents than FRAND allows. The settlement ended up somewhere between.

    the term "patent troll" makes me uncomfortable. What exactly does it mean? To me, it means an owner of a patent that waits for the device that uses the patent to become very popular before they pounce, hoping to get more than they would have if they sued in the beginning. In other words, it's the intent. But, companies like Qualcomm, Nokia and Samsung, all of which attempted to charge specific customers an order of magnitude (or more) for FRAND patents, could also be called trolls.

    either those companies were in the same business as the companies they trolled, or they felt they had them by the throat.

    the new Supreme Court decision as to where these patent cases will be held is a good thing that should have been done many years ago.

    and, by the way, I'm surprised that you don't understand how business works. It's not PR at all, it's money and constraint.

    Patent troll has a pretty well defined explanation if you look at the patent reform bill and what they were trying to address. Most people think a NPE is automatically a patent troll, which is incorrect. Using this definition, all small inventors are patent trolls because they don't perform large scale manufacturing of a device that uses their invention.

    It's the actions of a patent holder that define whether they are trolls. Things like threatening to sue and demanding a settlement. Suing the end users of a patented device and not the manufacturer. Double dipping on royalties. Jumping straight to a lawsuit without first attempting to negotiate a settlement. Filing vague lawsuits that don't clearly explain the infringement. And so on. And these actions can be carried out by a company that manufacturers devices or a patent holding company. Being the latter doesn't automatically make one a troll, though many of them are.
    The reform bill doesn't define it in the eyes of most people, who often just define it as someone who sues their favorite company over a patent. I do know what the intended definition is, but whether that will change the meaning in the consciousness of the public is something only the future will know.

    large scale manufacturing has nothing to do with it. Most people would agree that an individual inventor who has attempted to manufacture a product, or take the patent out to licensing, which is what most inventors try to do, would not be a troll if, the patent is a valid contribution to the art, if they genuinely attempted to produce the product, if they attempted to communicate with those using the patent early on before taking it to court and if they were to attempt to obtain a reasonable return.

    as I said, it's the intent, which obviously includes the actions. The intent defines the actions, and the intent gives action to the procedures used.
    I also disagree with the "patent troll" designation, which seems to be used against others as a broad brush attempt to paint any person or company which threatens ones own interests. Patent infringement is just one of the costs of doing business and IP is no different from any other property right which must occasionally be defended or prosecuted.
    edited May 2017 Soli
  • Reply 17 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,648member
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.
    How exactly are you being screwed? Be specific.
    Intel's current chips aren't as powerful as what Qualcomm offers so Apple artificially reduced the higher end performance of the Qualcomm chips to bring them inline with the Intel chips.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,517member
    Soli said:
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.
    How exactly are you being screwed? Be specific.
    Intel's current chips aren't as powerful as what Qualcomm offers so Apple artificially reduced the higher end performance of the Qualcomm chips to bring them inline with the Intel chips.
    Bah! Except for a tiny number of places around the world, no carrier offers real world speeds that would have utilized the greater speeds of the Qualcomm chip. These companies are all huffing and puffing about higher speeds, but you don't see them anywhere.

    now, Apple has applied for a license to test LTE 5G between their headcourters and an old campus. They got the license today. That's great, but we can't deliver more than about 10% of current LTE speeds almost anywhere.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,648member
    melgross said:
    Soli said:
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.
    How exactly are you being screwed? Be specific.
    Intel's current chips aren't as powerful as what Qualcomm offers so Apple artificially reduced the higher end performance of the Qualcomm chips to bring them inline with the Intel chips.
    Bah! Except for a tiny number of places around the world, no carrier offers real world speeds that would have utilized the greater speeds of the Qualcomm chip. These companies are all huffing and puffing about higher speeds, but you don't see them anywhere.

    now, Apple has applied for a license to test LTE 5G between their headcourters and an old campus. They got the license today. That's great, but we can't deliver more than about 10% of current LTE speeds almost anywhere.
    1) Your first paragraph contradicts itself. You start enough saying "except for a tiny number of places" and then end with "you don't see them anywhere."

    2) Even if this capability was not available in a single market, it's still means that Intel's chips can be measured as inferior to Qualcomm's offerings in the same device. I'm personally not affected by this, and yet I'm glad that I have the model with the Qualcomm chip in case this helps with the resale value since Apple may update the drivers to support faster speeds in the future.
    edited May 2017 gatorguy
  • Reply 20 of 24
    melgross said:

    rob53 said:
    k2kw said:
    gatorguy said:
    Huh. So one minute Apple is calling Nokia "a patent troll" and the next they become business partners. So goes negotiations by PR. 
    Hopefully Apple will wise up and make a deal with Qualcomm .  Don't want any more inferior Intel chips in the iPhone - you're screwing your customers Apple.

    Nothing wrong with the Intel modems. So no, Apple is not screwing with customers.
    True. The only reason Apple still needs Qualcomm is because Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular still use it (in the US) instead of the more global standard of GSM. When I use my Verizon iPhone 6S in Canada, it switches to GSM. Get rid of CDMA and Qualcomm isn't required. 
    Either late this year, or next year, Apple won't need Qualcomm as Intel has purchased a second radio company that builds CDMA radios, and has sufficient patents to allow Intel to build.d radios with bothe GSM and CDMA.
    So ... it is better to pay Intel than to license the tech from Qualcomm? Why? Because of spite over Qualcomm demanding to be compensated for the intellectual property that they put R&D into developing with no guarantee that the R&D would pay off with a profitable product? Particularly if Intel's tech is inferior to Qualcomm's in the first place?
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