More reports on: Apple, Telecom

Nokia gets $2 bn settlement from Apple in patents spat

31 July 2017

Following a patents row between Nokia and Apple that escalated in December last year and was settled in May, Nokia has received a $2 billion upfront cash payment from the Cupertino-based tech giant as part of the settlement (See: Apple-Nokia dispute ends in major business deal). 

According to reports today, this was one-time revenue for Nokia, which hasn't said what it plans to do with the cash. Neither company has revealed details, of the settlement.

The spat began last year when the tech giants locked horns over patents, with Apple filing an antitrust lawsuit against third-party Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) that act on Nokia's behalf, and the Finland-based firm suing Apple directly.

According to Apple, the Finnish firm was conspiring with PAEs like Acacia Research and Conversant Property Management in an "illegal patent transfer scheme" to wring money out of Apple because Nokia's cell phone business was failing.

Nokia also filed a suit directly against Apple in Europe and the US, claiming the company was still infringing on Nokia patents. The lawsuit covered 32 patents, including display, user interface, software and video-coding technology.

Apple had also pulled all products made by Withings - a French company and now a Nokia subsidiary - from Apple Stores, both online and retail (See: Apple pulls out Withings products amid patents row with Nokia).

The recent lawsuit was the second high-profile patent fight between Nokia and Apple. It began last year when Nokia alleged that Apple has broken law on dozens of patents that Nokia owns including the patents from its subsidiaries, NSN and Alcatel-Lucent.

Due to Nokia's position and background in the phone market, a lot of smartphone makers had purchased the rights to a wide range of the company's patents (Apple agrees to pay licensing fee for Nokia patents). 

Apple, in particular, has been relying on Nokia's patents since the iPhone 3GS, which included video coding, display, chipsets, UI, software, and antenna.

Apple and Nokia have had a licensing deal since 2011, but the former accused that the latter was seeking undue advantages, which led to their refusal to sign a new deal

The dispute got more severe and uglier when Apple resisted against the patent entities with an antitrust suit on behalf of Nokia. This came right after Nokia filed suit in multiple countries against Apple asking for more settlement and royalty money.

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