Apple and Nokia Settle Patent Dispute With New Licensing Agreement

Tuesday
Nokia and Apple announced today that they have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year patent license.

Under the collaborative agreement, Nokia said it will provide “certain network infrastructure products and services” to Apple. In turn, Apple agreed to return all health products owned by the Finnish company to Apple retail and online stores.

“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.”

In December of last year, Nokia filed multiple complaints against Apple in several countries, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing several of its patents. In response, Apple sued Nokia in an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities which it claimed were trying to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents. Apple had established FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) deals with Nokia, but by transferring patents to patent holding companies, additional royalties can be demanded.

Just days after the legal dispute flared up, Apple pulled all Withings-branded, Nokia-owned accessories from its online and retail stores around the world. Nokia stood its ground, however, claiming that it had not been able to reach a licensing agreement with Apple and therefore had to defend its rights.

Following the latest development, Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple with additional revenues forthcoming. The figure remains undisclosed, but net sales in Nokia patent licensing will reflect the value of the agreement, while Nokia expects related revenues to be reflected in the second quarter of 2017. No other details of the terms of the agreement have been released.

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

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