Nokia and Apple reach patent agreement


14 Jun 2011

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Nokia and Apple have signed a patent licence agreement that settles all patent litigation between the companies, including both companies’ withdrawal of their complaints to the US International Trade Commission.

The agreement requires Apple to make a one-time payment and royalty payments to Nokia for the term of the agreement, the specific terms of which are confidential.

In May 2010, Nokia sued Apple, alleging the iPad and iPhone 3G infringed five Nokia patents. This followed an October 2009 lawsuit, in which Nokia alleged that Apple’s iPhone infringed on 10 of Nokia’s patents.

Nokia had also lodged a compaint with the US International Trade Commission, accusing Apple of infringing seven Nokia patents "in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers." However, a judge ruled in March 2010 that Apple was not in violation of five of Nokia’s patents.

Apple filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission on 15 January 2010, asking it to block Nokia smartphone devices from the US.

In the May 2010 case, the patents in question related to technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space, allowing smaller and more compact devices.

Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Nokia, said the company is 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," Elop said.

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.

Apple representatives have yet to comment on the agreement.

Photo: Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Nokia