After a protracted battle it looks like Apple is finally relenting and starting to pay Nokia a lump sum and then a yearly license fee for their use of some Nokia patents, with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop stating that “we are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees”.
Nokia has long claimed that Apple’s iPhones had been infringing on a number of their mobile phone patents, something that would have been quite likely with Nokia leading the consumer mobile telecommunications industry for the last decade or more. The US International Trade Commission had previously ruled that Apple had not infringed a number of Nokia patents, but it looks as though Apple has decided it would be better to pay a license than continue the expensive legal battle for a second year.
The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, but a little extra yearly cash flow will certainly be good news for Nokia as they are set to be overtaken by both Samsung and Apple as the leading mobile phone manufacturers this quarter – quite a change from holding nearly 2/3 of the market just four years ago. Whether this legal success will result in Nokia going on the legal warpath against Android phone manufacturers such a Sumsung, Motorola, or SE is currently up for debate, but it is not out of the question.