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Still Alive – Nokia Plans To Licence Its Brand Name To Third Parties

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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News of future third-party tie-ups comes as the company teases a mysterious black box set for launch tomorrow

Former mobile phone titan Nokia has revealed it is looking at licencing out its iconic brand name as part of a move to ensure the company remains in the public eye.

Plans revealed by Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia technologies, at the company’s capital markets day last week detailed how Nokia is planning to allow third-party manufacturers to create products and devices that use its famous brand.

“It is our goal to start licensing our brand in areas other than these two restricted areas, starting this quarter actually,” said Haidamus, who said that the company would look to publicise its brand “in the areas that we can and the areas where the brand is relevant.”

Nokia Lumia 625 (10)Sell out?

“We have a very valuable brand,” said Haidamus. “Yes it is diminishing in value, and that’s why it is important that we reverse that trend very quickly, imminently.”

Haidamus stated that any future products carrying the Nokia brand will have to “look and feel just like Nokia built it,” no matter which third party builds it. Nokia will also seek to remain a central part of the manufacturing process, with the company’s rapid prototyping team continuing to build concept products and demonstrate them to customers with an aim to license the technologies involved.

This may even include smartphones at some point in the future, as the terms of the Microsoft takeover of Nokia’s handset business state that Nokia cannot use its name on feature phones for another ten years, but is free to brand smartphones after 2016.

“We’re not looking at a direct consumer entry in handsets per se,” Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said. “So brand licensing is the operative word.”

Microsoft, which acquired Nokia’s handset division for £4.6 billion in April, has already signalled it is not looking to use the Finnish company’s brand for upcoming handsets, preferring instead to use the Lumia brand for its future releases – the first of which, the Lumia 535, was launched last week.

The news came as Nokia teased a mysterious black box on its official Twitter account, alongside the tagline “we’re up to something”. Whatever the product is, it will be revealed tomorrow (November 18) at the Slush 2014 event in Helsinki by Nokia’s head of products business, Sebastian Nyström. However many  are already speculating that the box it could be the company’s first foray into Internet-enabled television, media, or home networking.

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