Finnish telecom equipment company Nokia and U.S. smartphone giant Apple are leaving the patent litigation behind them with a new multi-year licensing agreement and collaboration deal.
Announced Tuesday, the new agreement will see Nokia provide “certain network infrastructure product and services” to Apple. In turn, Apple will once again begin carrying Nokia’s digital health products – from what was formerly known as the Withings brand – in its stores. The pair have also agreed to explore future collaboration on digital health initiatives through “regular summits” between top leaders of both companies.
“This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple,” Nokia’s Chief Legal Officer Maria Varsellona commented. “It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers.”
Though the companies kept the precise details of the deal confidential, they did note Apple will make an upfront cash payment to Nokia, with additional revenues flowing during the remaining term of the agreement. Nokia indicated the deal’s value will be partially reflected in its patent licensing net sales figures, and partially as net sales in other Nokia business groups.
The agreement comes around five months after Nokia lodged complaints in the United States and 10 other countries in December alleging Apple had infringed on a number of its patents. At issue were 32 patents spanning technologies such as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding used in smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Nokia said Apple signed a license agreement in 2011 covering some patents in the Nokia Technologies portfolio, but has subsequently refused to sign agreements to license other patented Nokia technologies used in several Apple products.
Apple COO Jeff Williams said Tuesday the company is “pleased” with the quick resolution to the patent dispute, and noted Apple looks forward to expanding its relationship with Nokia.
The resolution also clears up one more piece of litigation for Apple as its high-profile patent battle with Qualcomm heats up. The latest on that spat can be found here.