Nokia prepared to sell patents, maybe Apple should buy and save on lawyer fees

Nokia prepared to sell patents, maybe Apple should buy and save on lawyer fees

Summary: Nokia's CFO, Timo Ihamuotila, stated that Nokia is prepared to sell some of its patent portfolio if the price is right. With Nokia struggling to find its way in the mobile space, maybe Apple should buy them with its cash.


As if the news about Nokia could get any worse we now see reports that Nokia is prepared to sell patents if the price is right. It sounds to me like Nokia is moving out and starting to hold an estate sale. Nokia has a patent portfolio of over 30,000 patents and 10,000 patented innovations. Many companies in the mobile space, including Apple, pay Nokia fees and royalties to use Nokia's patented technology and with the incredible amount of cash, along with record success, I wonder if it makes financial sense (could save a lot on lawyer fees alone) for Apple to step in and purchase these patents from Nokia.

In addition to bringing the patents and technology in house to Apple, this strategy may also close the door on others who license the technolgoy from Nokia at this time. If Nokia can stay in business, they might even end up paying the buyer of the patents to use the technology themselves. I am not sure if this willingness to sell off patents is a desparation move or if Nokia is just looking to sell patents that may not have as much value to them. Nokia is looking at ways to stay in business and having a massive patent garage sale may just be one part of that strategy.

Related ZDNet content

Topic: Nokia

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Owning "Patents" is always a good idea regardless of lawyer fees and other

    issues. I would agree with you that Apple should buy them if they come to market especially since I would think that MS in it's cash deal with Nokia likely had some mention of "IN case of failure on Nokia's part MS gets for it's money first rights to Nokia's patents"

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • Re-License

    They sold a bunch to that patent holding company, and then made a condition of the sale that they could use them. I would imagine that they'd sell them on the condition that they retain access to the patents.
    • That's how many of those patent sales go

      Let someone else litigate, as long as you can use the patents royalty free for all eternity.
      William Farrel
    • I imagine that MS would retain royalty free rights to them as well

      Same with their mapping data etc. if anyone else bought out Nokia entirely.
      Johnny Vegas
  • why just apple?

    biased much? Doesn't Google also have a ton of cash it can spend? After all they did over paid for Moto. Or Samsung for that matter, they too, have a truckload of cash they can spend.
    • I agree...

      I agree but I don't see Apple or Google getting a purchase like that through regulation... MS could sure and probably Samsung as well.
  • :">

    my neighbor's mother made $16059 last week. she is working on the computer and got a $509600 home. All she did was get blessed and follow the information shown on this site
    • Your made $16059 last week?

      didn't know prositution paid so well.
      William Farrel
  • If they're already licensing the patents...

    they wouldn't save on lawyer fees, they'll save on licensing fees.
  • Windows Phone 8 will set the world on fire

    ... that's exactly why Microsoft is putting the same UI on every desktop.

    Either that, or Microsoft is shoving it down everything's throats in a frantic attempt to create a Metro ecosystem before Nokia goes down like the Titanic with that crap on their phones.
  • Might as well call J.D. Wentworth

    How many really important patents could there be here that aren't already in wide use with in-place licensing deals? This is like Nokia calling J.D. Wentworth at 877-CASH-NOW to turn their licensing annuity into a bag of cash. The only reason they'd do that is: they need CASH NOW.

    Cash-rich companies like Google, Apple, and Samsung don't need to buy annuities... they already have very sophisticated cash management strategies. No, the only companies who would buy these patents with a view toward suing people would be those lawyer-only patent troll outfits. But again, by this time, all the serious players have long-since been contacted by Nokia and either signed deals or found engineering solutions that don't infringe.
    Robert Hahn
  • Sounds like the WP7 strategy is working very well for Nokia ...

    Please enable the [ sarcasm ] tags before reading.
  • Not a smart move....

    RIM is where Nokia will be about 2 months from now. The fact is that RIM's & Nokia's patents are the only thing of value to other companies. If you sell those, the odds of the company being bought out drop considerably. You may get some cash to survive for a few more months, but what happens if your business doesn't recover by then? You have very little value to offer any prospective buyer.
  • With companies

    as well as families, when you start selling your stuff to cover living expenses, the end is nigh....
  • elop killing nokia just a little bit more

    to down the price for MS to buy them........
  • Don't get it

    Well, i simply don't get it. First of all, why would apple have to pay lawyers fee for these patents when they are already paying royalties for using them, secondly, how can one be so sure which exact patents Nokia is going to sell in the market and whether it would benefit Apple or they would still have to pay a price to use those patents. Lastly, Patents are deemed to be intellectual property, which these smartphones giant fight for like titans, i still don't get it why would Nokia sell out something, which is giving them a competitive edge over companies like Apple, Htc etc?
  • updates with lawsuit

    Any updates on this story? how did it turn out to be?