RIM and Nokia agree not to sue each other

Canadian phone maker Research In Motion and Finnish Nokia Inc have decided to stop their legal wrangling following a newly agreed upon patent licensing pact, Nokia announced on Friday.

The new agreement covers “one-time payment and on-going payments, all from RIM to Nokia,” the Finnish firm said. It did not say what the payments covered though, citing confidentiality of terms.

Last November saw Nokia filing a complaint of a breach of contract against Research In Motion in countries that includes the United States, Britain, and Canada. The complaint relates to cellular patents that both parties agreed to way back 2003. The BlackBerry maker claimed to have owned the license that covers standard essential technology patents for handsets as well as other patents that are considered non-standard essential components. However, the  Arbitration Institute of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce disputed RIM’s claims.

It is common practice today among big handset and wireless equipment makers to resort to patent litigation in order to grab a share in the lucrative smartphone market.

Nokia leads the pack in owning patents in the wireless industry today. Apple paid a hefty $565 million royalty to Nokia as part of a settlement that has dragged on for too long already. The Finnish handset maker has also filed claims in the United States and Germany accusing products of Viewsonic Corp and HTC Corp of infringing a few of its patents.

Nokia, once a dominating  player in the mobile market, relies on its patents to keep it afloat as it struggles to compete against more popular smartphone rivals like Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.

Other tech companies have derided Nokia as a patent troll following several patent litigations it filed against other companies. In defense of the company, Nokia’s IP chief Paul Melin  was quoted as saying:  “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. This agreement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.”

RIM’s acknowledgement of defeat is the second major patent win for Nokia during the last two years.

Nokia claims to have invested over $60 billion for the last 20 years developing technologies for the wireless industry. It currently boasts the industry’s largest IPR portfolios that holds  about 10,000 patent families.

Although Nokia has been struggling to translate the research results into a cash cow in recent years, it has built up the most valuable patent portfolios in the mobile industry.

source: huffingtonpost

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