updated 06:01 am EST, Fri December 21, 2012
Nokia, RIM reach agreement ending all outstanding claims
Struggling smartphone giants RIM and Nokia have reached a settlement ending all outstanding patent claims between the two companies. A statement issued by Nokia indicates that the settlement is heavily weighted in its favor. Nokia will receive a one-time payment from RIM while the Canadian company will also furnish Nokia with ongoing payments, although the details of which remain undisclosed.
"We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM and reached this new agreement, while maintaining Nokia's ability to protect our unique product differentiation," said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. "This agreement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market," he added.
Although Nokia has been struggling to turn around its flagging smartphone business, it retains one of the largest and most robust mobile patent portfolios in the industry. Over the past two decades, Nokia has invested over 45 billion euros in research and development during which time it has amassed close to 10,000 patent families.
It is believed that making a modern cellphone is almost impossible without touching on Nokia's patent portfolio with many also deemed standards-essential. Apple, like RIM, was also forced to settle with Nokia under similar circumstances in June of 2011. At that time, Apple agreed to make a one-off payment to Nokia along with ongoing royalties for the duration of the deal. Although the details weren't revealed, it is thought to have amounted into the hundreds of millions of euros. Nokia earns around 500 million euros annually in ongoing royalty payments.