Nokia, Apple bury hatchet in patent dispute

By AFP   May 23, 2017 | 04:31 am PT
It's an upgrade in the relationship between two companies.

Nokia and Apple said Tuesday they were burying the hatchet in a bitter patent dispute with a cooperation agreement and an undisclosed cash payment by the U.S. tech giant to the Finnish group.

By settling their ongoing intellectual property dispute, the two companies would "move the relationship... from being adversaries in court to business partners," Nokia's chief legal officer Maria Varsellona said.

Following years of clashes, Nokia and Apple originally signed a licensing agreement in 2011.

But last December, the Finnish group, once the world's top mobile phone maker, complained that Apple was using Nokia technology in many products without paying for it.

And it filed lawsuits in Germany and in the United States.

Concretely, the dispute concerned 32 patents for innovations related to displays, user interface, software, antennae, chipsets and video coding.

The deal reached on Tuesday would put the two companies' relationship back on an even keel, with Nokia providing "certain network infrastructure products and services to Apple," the statement said.

Apple would "resume carrying Nokia digital health products (formerly under the Withings brand) in Apple retail and online stores, and Apple and Nokia are exploring future collaboration in digital health initiatives," it continued.

"Regular summits between top Nokia and Apple executives will ensure that the relationship works effectively and to the benefit of both parties and their customers."

Apple's chief operating officer Jeff Williams said the U.S. giant was "pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia."

The two sides did not disclose the financial details of the deal.

But Nokia would receive "additional revenues during the term of the agreement," the Finnish group said.

The up-front cash payment would allow Nokia to "provide a comprehensive update of its capital structure optimisation programme," a restructuring plan launched in late 2015, which may now be lighter thanks to the payment by Apple.

Nokia's shares were showing a gain of more than seven percent stake on the Helsinki Stock Exchange at around 10:00 GMT, while the overall market was up by just 0.8 percent.

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