Apple to pay Nokia in mobile patent settlement


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Apple and Nokia have reached a settlement in patent disputes over mobile phone technology going back as far as 2009.

In the agreement, Apple will provide Nokia with a one-time payment as well as licensing royalties in the future -- though Nokia, which announced the settlement, wouldn’t say how much was being paid by Apple.


The payments will cover all past and ongoing use of patented Nokia technology by Apple, the Finnish tech company said.

‘We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees,’ Stephen Elop, Nokia’s president and CEO, said in a statement. ‘This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry-leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.’

Both companies have agreed to drop their patent suits against each other, Nokia said, but other ‘specific terms’ of the agreement are confidential.

Apple officials were unavailable for comment on the settlement on Tuesday.

The disputes between the two firms, covering more than 30 patents, came in complaints to the U.S. International Trade Commission relating to technology used in touch-based user interfaces, on-device app stores and other mobile features used in Nokia phones and Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch products.

Nokia said it has spent more than $62 billion over the last 20 years in research and development to build a portfolio of more than 10,000 ‘patent families’ and that ‘this agreement is expected to have a positive financial impact on Nokia’s recently revised outlook for the second quarter 2011.’



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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles