Apple settles patent dispute with Nokia, must pay royalties

By on June 14, 2011, 9:00 AM

Apple has settled a two-year-old legal fight with Nokia over a series of mobile phone related technologies. Exact terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but according to reports they require Apple to make a one-time payment large enough to materially improve the Nokia's earnings for the quarter as well as regular royalties in the future.

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

For its part, Apple expressed relief over putting the issue behind and downplayed the agreement as limited in scope, emphasizing that it covers some of each other's patents but not "the majority of innovations that make the iPhone unique." Whatever the case, both companies have agreed to withdraw complaints against each other with the International Trade Commission and drop all outstanding patent litigation between the two.

The agreement represents a victory for Nokia and could allow it to monetize its patent portfolio going forward -- now that Apple has felt compelled to pay, other companies that might be infringing on the same patents will have to think hard whether to pay or pick a fight if Nokia's lawyers come knocking.

The dispute started in October 2009 when Nokia claimed that Apple was infringing on 10 patents, covering GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN technologies. Apple fired back with a countersuit in December 2009, charging Nokia with infringing 13 of its patents related to the iPhone. Earlier this year a judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Apple was not in violation of five of Nokia's patents, but obviously the rest must have had some merit.




User Comments: 8

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Raswan Raswan said:

"We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees," said Stephen Elop.

Hilarious.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

ras: If he was wrong Apple wouldn't be paying a penny to Nokia ....... so in essence Apple gave up midway through to give in ..... without fighting till the end.

Raswan Raswan said:

Archean said:

ras: If he was wrong Apple wouldn't be paying a penny to Nokia ....... so in essence Apple gave up midway through to give in ..... without fighting till the end.

Didn't say he was wrong. Just pointing out the hilarity in Apple, the Ur-tech company of the world with Jobs as its messiah, being reduced to a "Nokia licensee."

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh, I wrongfully assumed you were talking about Nokia :o

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

"Reduced to a 'Nokia licensee'", yeah right that's what Apple was reduced to: [link]

Especially since Nokia is not desperately trying to stay relevant on the mobile business and actually found a really great ally: [link]

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yup, at least that great ally's mobile OS isn't as crash happy, as many of the Android offerings are, one of my friends sells 'carrier free' smartphones (on his store), and generally much greater number of the phones which are returned is guess what ......... Android based, sometimes freebies aren't really that good TBH. Make no mistake, I like the 'un-controlled' nature (as opposed to iOS) of Android, but if it comes at the cost of reliability, I'd happily dump such freebies and spend money on something which is much more stable/reliable.

On the side note, I don't believe that 'everything free' is a good for users; because its cost is hidden / paid by someone.

Det Det said:

Archean said:

at least that great ally's mobile OS isn't as crash happy, as many of the Android offerings are, one of my friends sells 'carrier free' smartphones (on his store), and generally much greater number of the phones which are returned is guess what ......... Android based, sometimes freebies aren't really that good TBH. Make no mistake, I like the 'un-controlled' nature (as opposed to iOS) of Android, but if it comes at the cost of reliability, I'd happily dump such freebies and spend money on something which is much more stable/reliable.

On the side note, I don't believe that 'everything free' is a good for users; because its cost is hidden / paid by someone.

Glad if you got the money to buy a $500-$700 Iphone or WP7 phone because I don't (in reviews Android is often the better OS, by the way).

With my Android phone I don't really see any of the "reliability" nor "stability" issues some people are talking about but there's so many flavors of Android phones and OSes that it's no surprise. Especially since so many of the Android devices are using older versions of Android because of lazy carriers and manufacturers. Even now after there was some talk that manufacturers now have promised Google to separately update all of their devices it still leaves us with carriers that for whatever reason are way too slow for the rapid development of Android.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With my Android phone I don't really see any of the "reliability" nor "stability" issues some people are talking about but there's so many flavors of Android phones and OSes that it's no surprise.

Exactly, that is the reason for instabilities. Non-standardization is always an issue, which often times can downgrade appeal of a product in a given period of time.

Glad if you got the money to buy a $500-$700 Iphone or WP7 phone because I don't (in reviews Android is often the better OS, by the way).

SGS I have costed me nearly 600$ (including memory card). So it is by no means any cheaper as well.

By the way at launch Android wasn't the best 'OS' by any means. So given that, whichever new player comes to the market and is prepared to strive for improvements (e.g. HP/MS) they will get on par in due course of time (if not surpass). There is no escaping the fact that biggest factor in Android's popularity with manufacturers is its 'freebie' nature, and for users its biggest appeal is they are free to do whatever they want (a credit to Google).

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