back to article Nokia and Apple bury patent beef

Nokia and Apple have settled their patent dispute, with Cupertino handing over an undisclosed lump sum and agreeing to ongoing royalties. The case has been rumbling on since October 2009, with Nokia taking the action to various courts in the US and Europe, and both companies making formal complaints to the US International …


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  1. Caff

    good news for nokia

    Must be the only positive Nokia news all year

  2. turnip handler
    Thumb Up

    Good news

    I'm glad Nokia have won this settlement - it certainly seemed deserved and finally Apple gave up trying to argue that they invented the mobile phone (or that the iPhone is no normal phone).

    It is a shame that they took so long to pay up - I guess they wanted to wait until they had made a fat load of cash from it before handing any over to those that actually invented the technology.

  3. TheOtherHobbbes


    A reliable income source for Nokia.

    1. Neill Mitchell


      Nokia has invested millions over the years so they are entitled to this settlement. Despite their ongoing disasterous decisions and dithering, let's not forget that mobile phones would not be where they are now it it were not for Nokia.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well...

        "...let's not forget that mobile phones would not be where they are now it it were not for Nokia."

        Oh, it's that time of year again: time to cut all those cheques to people like Newton, Einstein and everybody else that made civilisation what it is. Oh wait! What? You mean they didn't sit back and say, "I'm done with all this working on stuff, can I have a fat pension and a statue, please?"

        This is just the start of Microsoft-Nokia's taxation of the people actually getting stuff to market that the public wants to buy.

        1. Arctic fox

          Not at all surprised that you posted......

          .....that steaming pile of crap as an AC - get out of here.

  4. Syren Baran

    Android handsets?

    Thought Apple was the only one without cross-licensing agreements ...

    1. MattWPBS


      Pretty sure part of this was that Apple were the only manufacturer who thought they didn't have to pay licenses.

  5. Tegne

    But..But.. Surely Apple invented every new feature contained within modern mobile phones.

    How can this judgement be right?

  6. StChom


    Big win for MS(Nokia) and Apple(Apple). Big loss for Googles' Droids.

    MS is using Nokia as a proxy, like they did with SCO. Having won this, Nok will go after those rogue Droids, HTC, Samsung, Motorola et al. ... And HP too... Margins will go thinner, and MS will try to harbor back those lost souls. Big battle is Goo/MS...

    900M Nortel portfolio is cheap for Droids future.

    Apple, besides, jus cleared her way. Freedom.

    Probably won't even hurt her figures.

  7. James 47


    Nokia started this lawsuit long before Microsoft were running the show

    1. StChom


      Yes, and this was a motivation for MS deal. Patents. There's not much left of Nokia besides that.

  8. LPF
    Thumb Up

    Oh please...

    Apple payed a nominal sum, knowing that they could put Nokia out of business, it was cheaper to buy them off than pay the lawyers, give them $10 million to go away and die quitely money, I mean 1 pound a year income is going to be a positive when all your making from other business is a loss

    1. foo_bar_baz


      I wondered how the fanbois would respond.

      Or else you're an awesome troll.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: LOL

        You don't need to be an iFan to see that Apple have thrown Nokia a bit of cash at a time when Nokia's current and future earnings are in serious doubt.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, how the mighty fall

    one day you're the world's biggest phone manufacturer, the next you're no better than a common patent troll

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nokia not trolls

      Trolls don't make anything - they are parasites that leech off the other's efforts. Nokia has actually implemented its patents in real products.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They are also people who make flagrantly inflammatory statements

        in order to elicit indignant responses. You have been trolled, sir.

  10. Eponymous Howard

    Given we don't know the numbers...

    ...we don't know who "won".

    As far as I could tell, Apple's primary beef was that Nokia was trying to charge them MORE than other handset makers, so refused to pay, provoking the spat and in turn counter-spat.

    So it could equally be that MS told Nokia to get its eye back on the ball.

    1. StChom


      What was told was that Nok initially asked for a free ticket to Apple patents, on top of cash.

      That part probably went down with Nok deal on WinPhone.

    2. Lance 3


      According to the response that Apple gave, they balked at the royalty fees and as punishment for rejecting them, Nokia doubled the price. Nokia gave Apple the same initial price as all the others. Apple thought they should get a special price and Nokia gave them one; DOUBLE.

  11. Ian Davies

    All wrong.

    The facts:

    Nokia didn't start this suit, Apple did. Nokia's suits were simply counter-claims, as has become normal patent litigation practise nowadays.

    Apple sued because Nokia was demanding royalty payments from Apple that were significantly higher than those being paid by everyone else in the market to license Nokia's GSM technology.

    At no point had Apple ever claimed that they should not have to pay royalties, or that they somehow invented the technology or any other nonsense being peddled on here and other sites *cough*Engadget*cough*

    Apple wanted to pay royalties to Nokia, but they (rightly) didn't see why they should pay more than the "fair and reasonable" amounts that Nokia agreed to charge when they were awarded the patents, and which they were charging to other handset manufacturers.

    So Nokia's triumphalist PR spin that basically amounts to "Yes! We've been forced not to price-gouge Apple! We win!" is more than a little suspect.

    1. hexx

      you're wrong

      nokia started

      1. Ian Davies

        @hexx I stand corrected

        You are right. Nokia sued Apple first because they had not signed a license to use Nokia's patents. Apple then countersued.

        However the basic principle remains the same. Apple's motivation for not signing was that Nokia was demanding onerous terms, not because they thought Nokia didn't deserve to be compensated for their work.

        1. foo_bar_baz

          @Ian Davies

          Citation please

        2. Hypnotist

          @Ian Davies

          How do you know they were onerous? Because Apple said so?

          The other side of the story, from Nokia: "Prior to filing this Complaint, Nokia has made various offers to Apple for the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory royalty determination (F/RAND) terms and conditions of a license agreement...Apple has rejected Nokia's offers for the F/RAND terms and conditions both on a portfolio and on a per-patent basis".

    2. StChom

      Free lunch too

      The (official) motivation from Apple was that Nok wanted a free access to her UI/touch patents portfolio, on top of cash, and that was the deal breaker.

      That point was probably blunted by MS deal and WinPho.

  12. Vic

    Yet more Florian worship

    So Florian Muller says that Android is doomed, and the hacks just lap it up?

    Florian has been shown to be wrong *many* more times than he has been right. And he has an ongoing agenda against Android.

    Why are his attempts at astroturfing being reported as news? Florian is a lobbyist, not a journalist.

    Please stop.


    1. Ian Michael Gumby



      You seem to forget that there's this other big giant sitting on the sidelines with their own patent suit against Google.

      You and others dismiss Oracle's Java suit against Android.

      If that goes the distance and Oracle wins... You're going to see a world of hurt put on Google since they will have to indemnify the phone manufacturers and you'll see Android either die, or new phones jump in price because of the licensing costs.

      BTW, don't count out Meego and Nokia's Intel relationship. There's more to the MS deal than just handsets....

      Also didn't you get the memo? With the rise of the Internet bloggers obtaining 'journalist' standards, all journalists have been forced to lower their standards and become 'lobbyists'.

      (It keeps them off the dole. ;-)

      1. Vic


        > If that goes the distance and Oracle wins

        That's a big "if".

        Have you been following the progress in the case? Have you seen what Judge Alsup did to Oracle's claims?

        > You're going to see a world of hurt put on Google

        Or maybe not. Google got their Daubert hearing granted. There's a good chance that if Oracle win anything, it might not be very much. And it might be nothing at all; they only have assertions at the moment, and their patents - which look *extremely* shaky - are up for re-examination by USPTO.

        2009 figures show that 60% of all re-examined patents are thrown out in their entirety, and a further 28% have some claims rejected. Only 12% survive...

        But none of that is relevant to my post; Florian Muller is a renowned astroturfer with a very poor record of being anywhere near the truth in the final reckoning. It's a poor show when anyone quotes him as supporting material.


        1. Ian Michael Gumby


          No, its not a big if.

          You're right that I haven't been following the case. Last time I checked, Oracle still had a lot on the table. Google's code excerpts still stand, and Apache has made the statement that Google's code isn't based on their's.

          Last time I checked, we're still in the discovery period and that the actual trial hasn't started.

          Also, we're in the peanut gallery. We won't see or know all of the evidence collected or presented.

          This means that the actual trial hasn't started. Its going to be a jury trial right?

          So going forward, you have an option of Google settling with Oracle or it goes to trial.

          You have the trial and Oracle wins.

          You have the trial and Google wins.

          The odds are that if this goes the distance, Oracle will win on some counts.

          Its a stronger case than SCOs.

          Again, the whole point of my first post is that regardless of the outcome, the uncertainty of the lawsuit represents risk.

          Google's behavior with the handset manufacturers also represents risk.

          But hey, what do I know? I'm neither a fan of either company. Not so sure you can say the same. :-)

          1. Vic


            > No, its not a big if.

            Yes it is.

            Oracle have made a number of allegations. they have not yet proven them. they need to do so in order to obtain the win that you are already granting.

            > You're right that I haven't been following the case.

            That much is *very* clear.

            > Last time I checked, Oracle still had a lot on the table

            Check again. Judge Alsup *destroyed* their raft of claims. He is not playing their game.

            > the actual trial hasn't started.

            Motions have been filed. Orders have been made.

            If you're not keeping yup to datye with what's going on, you might like to reconsider holding forth about what is happening...

            > We won't see or know all of the evidence collected or presented.

            We see the orders, subject to any redaction the Court might require. That's sufficient to know that Oracle's case is significantly reduced compared to what it was a few weeks ago.

            > The odds are that if this goes the distance, Oracle will win on some counts.

            That's your opinion. You cannot substantiate it. Given the paucity of counts Oracle still has standing, I don't believe it.

            > Its a stronger case than SCOs.

            That's like claiming something is slightly warmer than absolute zero; wet tissue paper is stronger than SCO's case.

            > But hey, what do I know?

            I was wondering...

            > I'm neither a fan of either company.

            No, but you are a serial Android-basher.

            > Not so sure you can say the same. :-)

            Be sure. I dislike both Google and Oracle. But I dislike Internet pundits like Florian Muller astroturfing even more. And that is why I mentioned him.


    2. Alex.Red


      Do you know that Florian Mueller has an Android phone?

      Do you know that he is a self-proclaimed fan of Android?

      I did not until I read about it on

      My question is - how is having Android phone makes a person an Android fan? :-O

      All articles of Florian that I have heard of or read are full of FUD about Android ecosystem - Google steals code from Java, Google does not license proper Java VM, Google is doing this wrong, Google is doing that wrong.

      I also remember reading about Florian doing some work for Microsoft. I wonder if he is still getting his paycheck from them...

  13. windywoo

    No-one here knows the full story.

    Nokia sued Apple because Apple refused to pay what Nokia asked. No-one here knows the exact figures Nokia demanded, no-one can tell just how much they differed from the norm. They went to court to let the courts decide who was right. Commenters here pretending to know more than they do should keep quiet.

    1. Arctic fox


      "Nokia sued Apple because Apple refused to pay what Nokia asked. No-one here knows the exact figures Nokia demanded, no-one can tell just how much they differed from the norm. They went to court to let the courts decide who was right. Commenters here pretending to know more than they do should keep quiet."

      Right on Bro (as they used to say) - certain members of the cognoscenti here should confine their fairytales to bedtime reading for their kids.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        @Artic Fox and @windywoo

        "Commenters here pretending to know more than they do should keep quiet."


        Do you think that will stop them?

        Commentards generally down vote anything they don't like regardless if the post is true or not.

        You know what they say... opinions are like a$$holes... :-)

    2. Hypnotist


      Not even Apple knew what the norm was - they just decided Nokia was asking too much.

      "Throughout the negotiation process, Nokia blatantly attempted to circumvent its contractual obligation to offer non-discriminatory licensing terms to Apple. While Nokia said it was offering Apple its “standard” royalty terms, Nokia repeatedly refused Apple’s requests to substantiate that naked representation. Nokia refused to provide any information about what other licensees were paying for the same standards-essential patent rights (even on an aggregated or anonymous basis)".

  14. jai

    more than a token fee?

    but still, I suspect it's a lot less than Nokia would have wanted to settle for, just they're not strong enough any more to hold out longer or suffer the costs of the court case.

  15. Marcus Aurelius

    Nokia Patents

    ...are hardware patents and actually worthy of a patent.

    For this reason, I suspect most Google handset makers will already have a license to use Nokia's technology , and are thus already contributing to Nokia's abysmal bottom line. Apple was just a holdout.

    I never know why the Register or anyone else quotes Florian Mueller; his prediction rate and analysis are abysmal.

  16. cloudgazer

    we do know

    That of the 10 patent complaints in the initial Nokia lawsuit, 3 had already been dismissed and 2 had been dismissed but were under appeal.

    We don't know why they were dismissed and now that Nokia have settled we may never find out.

    As for other handset makers, we know that all the old makers like Sony-Ericcson and Motorola will have existing deals with Nokia, but some of the newer entrants may well not.

  17. whatsa

    Silly people and their biased phone views

    Any commonly (required tech) must be sold on F/RAND terms.

    This is to ensure a level playing field and competition.

    Why would Apple reject this?

    Apple has the worst history of IP theft but has largely got by by being a small player till


    As to Apples claims against Nokia .... that would be OS Right! well- talk to Intel and MS.

    Are they saying symbian is using IOS tech? LOL

    Look they didnt have a leg to stand on and they new it. Nokia was nice enough to agree to

    a non-disclosure so Apple could save face.

    I'm sure when Droid capitulate they will take it on the JAW and not try to push it under the carpet

    like the Apple believers that need to think their religion is perfect.

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