Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

Summary: Apple will pay Nokia an unspecified one-time payment and on-going patent royalties as the two companies settled all outstanding litigation between them.

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Apple will pay Nokia an unspecified one-time payment and on-going patent royalties as the two companies settled all outstanding litigation between them.

In a statement, Nokia said that Apple will become a licensee. The financial structure of the deal wasn't disclosed, but Apple and Nokia closed their complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission. Nokia filed lawsuits against Apple over intellectual property throughout 2010.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said:

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

For Nokia, the Apple patent win is a small victory. Clearly, Nokia wants to be more than a patent licensing company to become a leading smartphone player again. Nokia is transitioning to Windows Phone 7 and losing market share at a rapid clip.

Nokia said the Apple patent payment will have a "positive financial impact" on its second quarter results. Nokia recently issued a profit warning.

What remains to be seen is whether the Apple-Nokia patent truce leads to other settlements. Patent lawsuits have been flying in the wireless industry. Kodak recently won a patent skirmish against Apple.

As for Nokia, it's likely that the Apple win will allow it to monetize its patent portfolio going forward.

Patent lawsuit tracker Florian Mueller said:

Nokia doesn't have any litigation worries at the moment, but part of its new strategy is to ratchet up the monetization of its patent portfolio. Having proven its ability to defeat Apple -- after the most bitterly contest patent dispute that this industry has seen to date -- is a clear proof of concept. Other companies whom Nokia will ask to pay royalties will have to think very hard whether to pay or pick a fight.

This is also very significant with a view to Android. Given that Android is in many ways a rip-off of Apple's operating software, Android-based devices are highly likely to infringe on largely the same Nokia patents that Apple now felt forced to pay for.

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Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Legal, Mobility, Nokia, Wi-Fi

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24 comments
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  • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

    you know I like Apple and own multiple products from them, but, one of the things that really pisses me off is the fact that they think they can do anything and still get away with it. I mean COME ON Apple start respecting others intellectual property as much as you want people to respect yours.
    reyonlines
    • I dont think Apple ever claimed they did not want to pay.

      @reyonlines

      Apple wanted "fair and reasonable" terms. Truth is, we don't know what that means. Did Nokia want full access to Apple IP and a fee? Those are details we don't know. We do know Apple has money set aside specifically for this litigation.

      This will help remove uncertainties in the stock I hope. Now to wrap up Moto and HTC. MY guess in Moto will cost about 1/3 of Nokia and Apple will get 2-3 USD/handset from HTC.
      Bruizer
      • And, the settlement is not 'defeat' to Apple in any way, so this Florian ..

        @Bruizer: ... <u>Mueller guy showcases himself as either slant-driven or profoundly ignorant.</u><br><br>The content of patents was quite obvious and the whole court dispute was never about Apple actually denying Nokia's right to them.<br><br>However, what Apple unofficially disputed, was anticompetitve fees that Nokia wanted to force. <i>Since Apple can drag this whole trial thing almost like forever, and Nokia's profits are in danger, the latter obviously agreed to fair licence terms -- <b>what Apple wanted from very beginning.</b></i><br><br>No way to say that Nokia "defeated" Apple.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

        @DeRSSS

        Considering that we don't know the terms of the agreement, can't really say who "won".

        Part of the "anti-competitive" pricing is that most companies that Nokia has licensed to have IP of their own which is usually swapped in the process. Apple doesn't have much in the way of useful IP to swap (and have shown to be very unwilling to swap what they do have) so it is natural that Nokia would have asked for a higher fee than, say, Motorola.

        It also pretty standard haggling technique to open much higher than you actually expect to get in the long run. It probably ended up as a lawsuit from a lack of general haggling know-how on Job's part. He was probably offended by the offer and got his back up instead of setting a good haggler on Nokia to work a deal. Probably not a coincidence that this is now resolved after he stepped down for medical reasons.
        SlithyTove
      • Jobs still works and in rule, so his medical condition has nothing to do ..

        @SlithyTove: ... this settlement. Much more to do is that Nokia became more reasonable now understanding that Apple can drag these trials forever, and Nokia needs money -- as much as possible now. So they finally agreed to fairer terms of fees.
        DDERSSS
    • Sigh

      Apple was ALREADY paying a license fee to Nokia at the standard royalty ALL OTHER cell phone makers pay. Nokia wanted to charge Apple a different royalty rate. THAT'S what the lawsuit was about.
      fr_gough
      • *Sigh*

        @fr_gough

        Apple was infringing on ten different patents ranging from finger swiping tech to app stores. Nokia's patents are not a buy one get all others free deal.
        Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @reyonlines The problem Rey is that there's tons of "TP patents" my contempt for patents that amount to the same as patenting toilet paper. Believe me, there's plenty. Some of these are business process patents intended for patent trolls and nothing but, there's not fundamental "new technology" involved. For example, the LodSys patent which claims a patent on in app purchases. Yes if an application goes out and gets some bits and you pay for it, that whole notion is "patented" -- absolutely absurd.
      betelgeuse68
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @reyonlines This was not about Nokia's IP but about Nokia wanting to charge Apple more than they were charging other companies for the same licenses.
      athynz
      • All I'm hearing is complee rubbish.

        @athynz If Apple didn'thave to pay more they wouldn't have paid more. If they're paying more then its for a reason. You dont need a PHD to work this out. Defeated is the ONLY word, d-e-f-e-a-t-e-d. IT's swings'n'roundabouts though and they'll win something else next week. Just grow up and admit defeat is defeat in this instance no mater how you try to package it.
        johnmckay
  • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

    What if Nokia's plan all along was to go after Apple and each Android manufacturer for royalties? The move to Microsoft WP7 instead of Android suddenly makes allot more sense. If they can get mighty Apple to pay then all the other Android manufacturer should be shaking (including Google).
    dave95.
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @dave95.

      Interesting but look at my response to LoverockDavidson. Might make sense... Might not.
      audidiablo
      • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

        The move to Microsoft WP7 instead of Android suddenly makes allot more sense. If they can get mighty Apple to pay then all the other Android manufacturer should be shaking (including Google). <a href="http://www.musthighschool.com/">high school online</a> | <a href="http://www.musthighschool.com/must/diploma/">online diploma</a> | <a href="http://www.musthighschool.com/must/homeschooling.asp">online homeschooling</a>
        jasonhawk
  • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

    Take that Apple!
    LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @LoverockDavidson

      No no stop sitting on the fence. Tell us what you really think.
      martin23
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @LoverockDavidson

      Not so quick... As much as I feel people who use others IP should pay in order to do so I think there is more going on behind the scenes that most wouldn't think of. Call me a foil hat pusher but there are some things that would make better sense when stepping back from the fan base mentality.

      Apple had a slick device on their hands... It really reminded me a lot of WinMo but that's fine at least Apple's replica didn't lag. I have to give MS some crap for it as they should have done more but the story is different now with WP7.

      This lawsuit came about before the Nokia MS agreement of WP7... After Nokia is full steam ahead on getting their WP7 devices ready and to the market... All behind closed doors an agreement is reached. Quite the kawinkidink don't you think?

      As much as people feel that Apple and MS are always at war this is not true. Gates wouldn't let Apple sink and Jobs won't let MS sink either... The real bastard of the group is Google which is nothing but a cheap Hong Kong counterfeit of both Apple and MS. If Apple, MS and Nokia all play nice in the sand box they can all enjoy the kool-aid and animal crackers... Google is the snake oil in the sand box trying to turn humans into robots or better terminology a bunch of tools who cannot think for themselves. They make no hardware and really no software. The only thing Google came up with on their own which even then is still questionable is their search engine. Everything else is a rip off of others IP.

      Read Google's privacy statement about ones invention idea being passed through any of their servers becoming rightfully the property of Google. Shady ain't it?
      audidiablo
  • Nokia is a patent troll

    By not embracing Android, Nokia are seeking to impose an innovation tax on Android set makers.<br>It is so micro$oftish!
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @Linux Geek

      Speaking of trolls... Linux Dweeb... Not one person should embrace Android... The way you put it seems more like embracing the Chinese empire or the raw fury of North Korea. Android is a copy cat knock off of iOS and WinMo. Google, aside from search, has never come up with anything on their own and is nothing but a half assed knock off of other peoples designs and creations. Google blows and most Android (or Hemroid as many like to call it these days) users are switching that I know of because of the cheap garbage Google offers. Also when people realize they have no privacy and pretty much fork over all their rights like a bunch of sheep they really then would rather go with anything else.

      As much as I may make a stand for MS since they could do little wrong with the DOJ holding hands with MS it seems more so that the true innovators and true creators of quality products are left to Apple and Microsoft.

      I love Linux don't get me wrong but the Linux I love isn't tainted with garbage from Google. Chrome? Chromium development that Google ripped off. Chrome OS? A dumbed down OS to nothing but a browser with limited functionality and keeping all your eggs in one basket out in traffic hoping it will be safe.

      Try Ubuntu? Yeah a real OS for humans. SUSE, Mint, Fedora, BT5 and others... Good distro's with so much to offer... Google Chrome OS? A playschool kids OS for 3 year olds that hardly works.
      audidiablo
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @Linux Geek

      No... Nokia just wised up and went with WinPho7, because they know that Linsux blows
      SonofaSailor
    • RE: Apple pays up, licenses patents from Nokia

      @Linux Geek So now you hate Nokia because they didn't become yet another Android device manufacturer? And you are calling them a "patent troll" in a suit against [i]Apple[/i]? Man it must be hell inside your head with this particular issue... how did you decide to back Apple over Nokia, flip of a coin or using your magic 8 ball?

      But just so you know what the deal is here Apple refused to pay Nokia's outrageous and anti-competitive license fees associated with the patents Apple was infringing upon so Nokia took them to court. With Nokia about to take a nosedive they finally decided to settle with Apple in essence giving Apple what they wanted from the beginning which was a fair price on the licensing. None of this having anything to do with Android or Google.

      So there ya go, you should be up to speed on this.
      athynz