Nokia licenses patents to Apple, ending two-year dispute

While Nokia is going through some of its toughest days in its painful transition to Windows Phone handsets, there is a small light at the end of the tunnel. The long-standing patent dispute between Apple and Nokia, which started in October 2009, is finally over. Nokia emerged victorious with a new licensing agreement with Apple over its patents.

The agreement, which was first spotted by Engadget, will see Apple pay Nokia a one-time fee for the licenses to Nokia's patents, and royalties thereafter. Both companies are not disclosing any further details.

The settlement is a much welcomed end to a patent war that got increasingly ugly, as Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents points out. In this following document, he illustrates the patent claims Apple and Nokia lodged against each other in court:

Mueller also points out that while on first glance it appears Nokia is the clear winner in this case, Apple also receives a bit of help in their cases against some Android handset manufacturers over using a similar look-and-feel as the iPhone. These manufacturers may also have to pay Nokia the same licensing fees, perhaps even more than what Apple did on a per-unit basis.

Nokia's press release over this new agreement is reproduced below:

Nokia enters into patent license agreement with Apple

Apple payments to Nokia settle all litigation and have positive financial impact

Espoo, Finland - Nokia announced that it has signed a 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 financial structure of the agreement consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple and on-going royalties to be paid by Apple to Nokia for the term of the agreement.  The specific terms of the contract are confidential.

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

During the last two decades, Nokia has invested approximately EUR 43 billion in research and development and built one of the wireless industry's strongest and broadest IPR portfolios, with over 10,000 patent families.  Nokia is a world leader in the development of handheld device and mobile communications technologies, which is also demonstrated by Nokia's strong patent position.

This agreement is expected to have a positive financial impact on Nokia's recently revised outlook for the second quarter 2011 of around break-even non-IFRS operating margin for Devices & Services.

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26 Comments

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If you read Nokia's press release you'll see that they've stated that this 'settlement' will have a considerable impact on their financial position. In other words the payout from Apple is HUGE.

Now Nokia is making money from every iPhone sold and Microsoft is making money from every Android phone made by HTC.

"Nokia emerged victorious....... "

I thought it is out of court settlement not a verdict!

Apple knew it had to pay, it is only the amount and terms that Apple and Nokia can't agree on. Apple probably brought that excessive fee down with no cross-licensing deal. Nokia probably, accepted it, in the wake of WP7 deal which will protect Nokia from Apple patent (Microsoft-Apple cross-licensing deal). The basis for original suit and countersuit is no more a sticking point for both Nokia and Apple! So, it is a win-win for both.

Pretty sure Google aren't too happy about this. Even if Apple pays Nokia licensing fees now, this will cause little trouble for Apple and their revenue stream, and we now have one less company that'll have any trouble with Nokia's vast patent portfolio. And it happens to be Google's main competitor.

But the biggest question is why didn't Eldar tweet this news before everybody else?
After all he is infamous Insider

phono said,
But the biggest question is why didn't Eldar tweet this news before everybody else?
After all he is infamous Insider

Insider?!! LOL. He's just an idiot.

Hell Yeah! Take that Apple! You can't go around suing everyone. I hope Samsung also wins their suit. Apple is one of the biggest copiers in the market.

Copied Android Notifications.
Copied Windows full screen.
Copied Windows ability to resize from all points of a window.
Copied Windows cut and paste in finder.
Copied WP7s camera viewfinder mode.

2011: The year of copy cats.
http://www.droodat.com/wp-cont...s/2011/03/ipadcopycats1.jpg

As if Apple care, there making millions if not billions on there devices. having to fork out a few quid here and there to get licenses isn't going to hurt them.

joemailey said,
As if Apple care, there making millions if not billions on there devices. having to fork out a few quid here and there to get licenses isn't going to hurt them.

They certainly do. Why do you think they bothered to sue Samsung? It's funny because grid of icons have been with us forever, but the android notification was specifically designed for the phones. Apple blatantly copied Android and have the cheek to call it amazing, magical, revolutionary etc..

joemailey said,
As if Apple care, there making millions if not billions on there devices. having to fork out a few quid here and there to get licenses isn't going to hurt them.

um yeah, that totally justifies their habitual copying and claiming it as their innovation.

digger1985 said,
Hell Yeah! Take that Apple! You can't go around suing everyone. I hope Samsung also wins their suit. Apple is one of the biggest copiers in the market.

you stink of zealousy - please go have a bath.

digger1985 said,

They certainly do. Why do you think they bothered to sue Samsung? It's funny because grid of icons have been with us forever, but the android notification was specifically designed for the phones. Apple blatantly copied Android and have the cheek to call it amazing, magical, revolutionary etc..

It was nothing to do with the grid, it was to do with Samsungs obvious attempt to mimic the icons and layout of Apple's features - if you compare Samsung icons side by side with Apple icons, most lay people would not be able to tell the difference.

digger1985 said,
Hell Yeah! Take that Apple! You can't go around suing everyone. I hope Samsung also wins their suit. Apple is one of the biggest copiers in the market.

Copied Android Notifications.
Copied Windows full screen.
Copied Windows ability to resize from all points of a window.
Copied Windows cut and paste in finder.
Copied WP7s camera viewfinder mode.

2011: The year of copy cats.
http://www.droodat.com/wp-cont...s/2011/03/ipadcopycats1.jpg

But if Apple tries applying their patent (the ones they are suing Samsung for...) it's wrong right? Hypocrite..

Matt Hardwick said,

you stink of zealousy - please go have a bath.

You stink from burned - please go have a bath. Cool off a bit.

joemailey said,
As if Apple care, there making millions if not billions on there devices. having to fork out a few quid here and there to get licenses isn't going to hurt them.

If you read Nokia's press release you'll see that they've stated that this 'settlement' will have a considerable impact on their financial position. In other words the payout from Apple is HUGE.

Now Nokia is making money from every iPhone sold and Microsoft is making money from every Android phone made by HTC.