Nokia Looking To Re-License Its Handset Brand Since Microsoft Isn't Interested

If you thought you'd seen the last of the Nokia brand stamped onto handsets, think again. The Finnish company is reportedly looking to re-license the Nokia brand to mobile device makers, even though Microsoft negotiated a deal to use the Nokia name for the next 10 years when it purchased the company's mobile division for $7.2 billion.

Despite that clause, Microsoft turned around and stuck a fork in the Nokia brand by letting it be known it would market future Lumia devices under its own name instead. Following through on that promise, Microsoft earlier this week unveiled the Lumia 535 Windows Phone, the first and only Lumia device without a Nokia label attached.

Nokia Sign

While Microsoft wants to embark on a new era, Nokia believes there's an opportunity to monetize its brand in the mobile market. However, it's not entirely clear when this will happen. According to a report in the Financial Times, Nokia will look to enter licensing agreements after Microsoft's rights to its phone brand expires, and it's reporting that will happen in 2016 instead of 10 years from now.

We haven't read the sales agreement between Nokia and Microsoft, so it's possible that Microsoft is allowed to use the Nokia for the next 10 years, but that exclusivity to it ends in 2016. Otherwise, Nokia would have to renegotiate terms with Microsoft to push back the expiration date, or it could offer to give the company a cut of its licensing revenue for the next 10 years.

Either way, it's being reported that Nokia is already in talks with handset makers about licensing deals. As the report goes, Nokia wants the new devices with its logo to be indistinguishable from former Nokia-built handsets.