Nokia, Apple Sign Patent License Agreement, End Legal Battle

The fight over patent use between Nokia and Apple that began back in December 2016 is now over, and the two companies are expected to collaborate in the future as a result of the latest turn of events. Apple agreed to buy Nokia's products and services more often as part of the settlement that ended the surprisingly short case, and Nokia's stocks saw a roughly 7-percent spike as a result. On top of licensing and purchasing Nokia's core tech more generously, Apple also agreed to sell Nokia's health products, helping the Finnish company get its products to consumers. The two firms did not provide many details on how exactly they agreed to end their patent dispute and only revealed that Nokia is set to receive an upfront payment from Apple, along with continued payouts across multiple years.

The deal came quickly enough to surprise even Nokia, who had told analysts not to project it receiving any revenue from Apple until well into 2018. Under the terms of this agreement, analysts are saying that it's quite possible to see Apple become a key distributor for Nokia's health offerings, some of which are still produced under the Withings name. Some industry watchers speculate that Apple may have been willing to drop its spat with Nokia so quickly and amicably because of its mounting court battles with Qualcomm.

The dispute between the two companies originated over certain patent licenses owned by Nokia that Apple was said to be using after they have expired, though neither party took action to renew them. Apple said that Nokia had been charging it too much for the patents, while Nokia alleged that Apple continued to use patented technologies after the licenses in question had lapsed. The battle intensified at certain points, but for the most part, the two stood on an even ground, with Nokia forced to prove Apple's misconduct, and Apple forced to prove that Nokia was overcharging for the patents. This turnaround is somewhat surprising in light of the fact that Apple often indulges in drawn-out legal battles; its repeated clashes with Samsung over the Galaxy S flagship lineup and its iPhone-inspired features, for example, ran all the way from when the first Galaxy S was released in 2010 until last year, and the case was even reopened in January.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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