Apple And Nokia End Patent War With Fresh Licensing Agreement

Apple and Nokia have made nice on a patent dispute, putting an end to what could have been contentious litigation. Nokia had actually sued Apple at the end of last year after failing to convince the Cupertino outfit to renew expiring licensing agreements that were inked back in 2011. At the time, Apple accused Nokia of morphing into a "patent troll," claiming the once top seller of cellular phones was trying to "extort money" for technologies it did not own.

The strong rhetoric from Apple painted the company as a champion of the people. "We are standing up for inventors everywhere by fighting this flagrant anticompetitive practice," Apple told Bloomberg at the time. But that is all water under the bridge now that the two technology firms have agreed to terms on a new multi-year patent license.


"This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple," said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia, responsible for Nokia’s patent licensing business. "It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers."

Flipping the script from when the two companies were engaged in a legal dispute, Apple this time around offered up a more canned response without the same dramatic flair as before.

"We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

As part of the agreement, Apple will pay Nokia an undisclosed sum of cash up front, with additional revenues during the term of the agreement. In exchange, Nokia will provide certain network infrastructure product and services to Apple. Apple will also be allowed to continue carrying Nokia's digital health products, both online and in its retail locations. And to ensure things do not sour between the companies, Apple and Nokia have agreed to send top executives to regular summits between the two.

It is not clear if technologies Nokia acquired from its $16.6 billion purchase of Alcatel-Lucent in 2015 are included in the agreement.