Why Nokia deal with Apple may spark mobile patent war — Tech News and Analysis
After a protracted period of patent warfare, Nokia and Apple appear to have settled their differences — with a bundle of cash. Nokia boss Stephen Elop says the two companies have agreed to drop their lawsuits against each other, with Apple paying a one-time sum and a regular license fee to use Nokia’s technology.
“We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees,” said Elop in the announcement, before suggesting that Nokia might be able to use its apparent victory to prize some money out of the hands of other companies as well. That means Android, in particular, could be in the firing line.
So far Apple remains silent on the nature of the deal, but it has to be said that the move comes something of a surprise given that the US International Trade Commission had previously ruled that the American company had not infringed a number of Nokia patents. Still, it may have proved easier for both sides to settle and move on than continue a war that showed few signs of ending, despite entering a second year of litigation.
The agreement and payments end all patent cases between the two companies, but there’s still one major unanswered question: exactly how much is the deal for. That’s being kept tightly under wraps, but there is a hint in Nokia’s statement that the deal will be a significant boost to its bottom line. The release says “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.”