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Apple & Nokia Settle Patent Infringement Dispute

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Apple agrees to pay Nokia for its intellectual property and the two firms will work together on digital health

Nokia and Apple have ended a legal dispute that led the latter to describe the Finnish manufacturer as a “patent troll”.

Lawsuits filed by Nokia in Germany and the US last December accused Apple of violating 32 patents covering innovations in display, software, antennas, chipsets and video encoding.

The two companies have been at war before. Nokia famously sued Apple in 2009 over technologies related to smartphone user interface, power management, antenna and camera.

iPhone SE 1

Nokia Apple patent

Those lawsuits were finally resolved in 2011 after Apple made a one-off payment to Nokia and agreed to pay the Finnish firm royalties going forward. However, Nokia had said Apple had declined subsequent offers to licence other technologies used in Apple products.

This dispute has now been resolved, with all litigation settled and the two parties agreeing an IP licensing agreement. Apple will pay Nokia an upfront sum along with royalty payments going forward, but specific details are not being disclosed.

Apple will also start stocking Nokia’s health products at its stores and the two will work together on digital health initiatives. Nokia will also supply certain network infrastructure products to Apple.

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“This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple,” said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia, responsible for Nokia’s patent licensing business. “It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers.”

“We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia,” added Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft for £4.6 billion in 2013 though it has retained significant intellectual property. It now focuses on networks and advanced technology following a further sale of its mapping business.

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