Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Sep 2013 11:46 UTC
Legal

Microsoft paid billions for a license to Nokia's patents, but the company has made explicit that Nokia still owns the patents. The genius of this move is that it allows Microsoft to double down on its patent war with Android. Microsoft boasts that the majority of Android phones sold worldwide have already paid for a license to Microsoft patents. By 2011, patent licensing revenue exceeded Microsoft's revenue from Windows Phone.

Now, Nokia can go after Android phone makers for royalties - even ones that have already paid Microsoft.

When pressed on the issue today, a Nokia spokesman confirmed that more patent licensing is indeed part of the plan.

So, without products, Nokia will become a true patent troll. Good to know.

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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 4th Sep 2013 13:35 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Nokia retained their R&D division, so they are not an NPE. Especially given that most of their patents are on telecommunications and they own (or will own) all of NSN.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by shmerl on Wed 4th Sep 2013 15:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Do you think they'll work on innovation when their core business is gone? They have no motivation to make anything new anymore. So they essentially are an NPE troll.

Edited 2013-09-04 16:04 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by unclefester on Thu 5th Sep 2013 07:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Nokia's core business is networking solutions not making phones. In other words they are much more like Huawei than HTC.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by tylerdurden on Sun 8th Sep 2013 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

That's a misconception.

Nokia's device division used to be the largest one in the company. However, their market share collapsed (and is still collapsing) so dramatically that both their Device and NSN divisions are pretty much even as far as revenue is concerned.

Which is why they had to unload their device div, which was going to eventually lead the whole company towards collapse, and reinvent themselves as an infrastructure company. NSN is just about the only division which managed to turn a profit (a small one at that). But NSN still suffers the same cancer as the rest of the Nokia group: they have shitty margins in a growing market. Not good.

Edited 2013-09-08 19:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Megol on Fri 6th Sep 2013 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

Do you think they'll work on innovation when their core business is gone? They have no motivation to make anything new anymore. So they essentially are an NPE troll.


Maybe it would be better if you tried to apply some thought before posting? Yes I intend to insult you - you and "Mr" Thom can't have activated two braincells between you.

Making a living out of patents doesn't make one a patent troll especially when (like Nokia) the patents are true innovations unlike (Apple...) patents that describe things already on the market. I write this while being strongly against patents BTW.

There are many companies that specialize in development of different things but not manufacturing anything themselves. You may have heard of ARM for instance?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by shmerl on Sun 8th Sep 2013 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Not a patent troll? Check out how Nokia attacked VP8 and German court threw out part of their claim already. Troll does not mean someone who doesn't produce anything. Troll can mean any extortionist.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by mutantsushi on Wed 4th Sep 2013 21:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

If Nokia is no longer in the device business but is just licencing patents to others in that business, there is no difference vs. a patent troll. What is the difference between the 'creator' corporation selling patents to a patent troll and the 'creator' corporation selling all productive assets to another corporation leaving the original corp as a patent holding company?

Obviously this doesn't change anything for their network gear division.
But equally obviously, MS actually purchased a licence for the patents associated with Nokia's former device division. If those are useless to phones/devices, why would MS licence them when MS isn't in the network gear business?

Edited 2013-09-04 21:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 4th Sep 2013 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

If Nokia is no longer in the device business but is just licencing patents to others in that business, there is no difference vs. a patent troll.


Nokia has retained (and I'll state it again since apparently reading is difficult for some on this website) their R&D division, the people who come up with this stuff in the first place. They are still a practicing entity.

They will still sell products and services (HERE, NSN, etc.) but they will just not sell products and services related to patents they already invented. That doesn't make them an NPE.

It'd be different if a company bought all of Nokia's patents (without buying a single division) and then asserted them against everyone.

The problem with NPEs is that they are impervious to patent aggression. Nokia is not.


What is the difference between the 'creator' corporation selling patents to a patent troll and the 'creator' corporation selling all productive assets to another corporation leaving the original corp as a patent holding company?


There is a huge different. Nokia spent the research budget to develop and has retained what is likely to be the very division which invented the patented content.


But equally obviously, MS actually purchased a licence for the patents associated with Nokia's former device division. If those are useless to phones/devices, why would MS licence them when MS isn't in the network gear business?


I don't think I ever claimed they were useless to phones/devices, why are you asking pointless questions?

I said that most of the patents are for telecommunications, or a fruit of that labor. Meaning if you license an essential patent or a hardware patent from Nokia for being a consumer of something their networking unit has made (ie mobile broadband via NSN) then it doesn't mean that the patent was invented as a result of the device.

Edited 2013-09-04 23:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by crocodile on Thu 5th Sep 2013 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
crocodile Member since:
2010-01-18

Nokia Research Center was not bought by Microsoft. Nokia Research Center was supported until now by Nokia Networks and Nokia mobile unit. But now because Microsoft bought Nokia mobile unit, suddenly Nokia Research Center is oversized. Nokia Networks cannot sustain alone financially such a big research center so for sure Nokia Research Center will be reduced to a smaller size in the very near future.

For sure Nokia Networks will start to make Nokia phones in two years from now (when the contract with Microsoft will allow it) and until then it can afford to drop the nuclear bomb in the mobile market by using its patent portfolio to attack the other phone manufacturers (mostly Android-based ones, like for example Samsung, Sony, LG, etc.). Nokia has not so much to loose anymore in mobile phone market anymore. Samsung vs Apple will look like a children's game...
Even Apple lost to Nokia in patent war...

Edited 2013-09-05 20:22 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by tylerdurden on Sun 8th Sep 2013 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Nokia has barely the cash to keep the lights on, much less to go nuclear against companies with orders of magnitude more cash in their coffers. So going against Samsung or Apple or Motorola would be suicidal.

History has shown that when a company is reduced to try to squeeze whatever money they can from relatively old patents, out of desperation, in a fast moving and developing market space. It never ends well for that company, e.g. SCO.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by crocodile on Mon 9th Sep 2013 05:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
crocodile Member since:
2010-01-18

Nokia has barely the cash to keep the lights on, much less to go nuclear against companies with orders of magnitude more cash in their coffers.


Here one does not need to have cash to sue other companies. It is widely recognized that Nokia has the highest quality patents in the industry of mobiles!
I am pretty sure that many lawyers would work happily for free for Nokia by suing Samsung/LG/Google/etc. in return for healthy share (20-50%) of the winnings if Nokia wins in court. On top of this even Microsoft would be happy to help Nokia with money!
Also Nokia needs now some leverage against Android because soon it will produce/sell also Android phones and it needs to get a good contractual conditions from Google regarding Android!

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by tylerdurden on Mon 9th Sep 2013 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17



Here one does not need to have cash to sue other companies.


LOL


It is widely recognized that Nokia has the highest quality patents in the industry of mobiles!


That's a purely subjective qualitative perception from your part, which you seem to be trying to pass as a quantitative fact.


I am pretty sure that many lawyers would work happily for free for Nokia by suing Samsung/LG/Google/etc. in return for healthy share (20-50%) of the winnings if Nokia wins in court. On top of this even Microsoft would be happy to help Nokia with money!


You have absolutely no idea how corporate lawyers work.


Also Nokia needs now some leverage against Android because soon it will produce/sell also Android phones and it needs to get a good contractual conditions from Google regarding Android!


Why would Nokia start making any device after they had to get rid of their Device division. It makes no sense whatsoever.

And suing the shit out of google/motorola is going to be a wonderful way to be in good graces w. Google.

You seem to be thinking in terms of what you wish it happens or will happen. Rather than what actually happens or will happen.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by enx23 on Mon 9th Sep 2013 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
enx23 Member since:
2008-12-17

"

Here one does not need to have cash to sue other companies.


LOL
"

Please, could you elaborate on LOL!

"
It is widely recognized that Nokia has the highest quality patents in the industry of mobiles!


That's a purely subjective qualitative perception from your part, which you seem to be trying to pass as a quantitative fact.

"

No, it is not. Here is one of the many references which states the same:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/3/4688962/with-nokia-microsoft-wants...

-> Nokia's patent portfolio in wireless in is one of the best two in industry!



"
I am pretty sure that many lawyers would work happily for free for Nokia by suing Samsung/LG/Google/etc. in return for healthy share (20-50%) of the winnings if Nokia wins in court. On top of this even Microsoft would be happy to help Nokia with money!


You have absolutely no idea how corporate lawyers work.
"
Please, could you describe what is the connection between me having no idea and my statement from above? Do you have any references which prove wrong my statement?

Please, make a difference between me and my statements! Please attack the statements and not the person who wrote them!


You seem to be thinking in terms of what you wish it happens or will happen. Rather than what actually happens or will happen.


This is not about what I wish!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Nelson
by tylerdurden on Sun 8th Sep 2013 19:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Nokia has no money for any significant R&D.

Most of the talent I knew who worked there moved on long ago. And they are going to have a very tough time attracting any given how shitty their financials are.

Edited 2013-09-08 19:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Deviate_X
by Deviate_X on Wed 4th Sep 2013 13:47 UTC
Deviate_X
Member since:
2005-07-11

I think Microsoft actually Won the patent war, sometime ago, everyone but Google is paying up, and they can only evade that for a limited amount of time.

Without a physical mobile business, Nokia is actually much far more nimbler and freer to maximize its IP potential, perhaps even more than MSFT have already done.

Edited 2013-09-04 13:48 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Deviate_X
by Adurbe on Wed 4th Sep 2013 14:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by Deviate_X"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Without a physical mobile business, Nokia is actually much far more nimbler and freer to maximize its IP potential, perhaps even more than MSFT have already done.


On what basis are you making that comment? They sold their phone business, patents would have been dealt with by their legal teams. So what has changed to make it easier to maximize their IP? Just because their overall business is smaller doesnt magically increase their legal team's size/capacity, they could have easily have shifted focus to IP issues without the sale.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Deviate_X
by Deviate_X on Wed 4th Sep 2013 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Deviate_X"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

"Without a physical mobile business, Nokia is actually much far more nimbler and freer to maximize its IP potential, perhaps even more than MSFT have already done.


On what basis are you making that comment? They sold their phone business, patents would have been dealt with by their legal teams. So what has changed to make it easier to maximize their IP? Just because their overall business is smaller doesnt magically increase their legal team's size/capacity, they could have easily have shifted focus to IP issues without the sale.
"

Countersuites: tying other party up in legal issues, legal costs, injunctions, blocking product sales etc... pure IP companies (trolls) don't have to worry about being countered - this is why they exist.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Deviate_X
by bassbeast on Sat 7th Sep 2013 21:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Deviate_X"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Bingo, the reason why trolls are so dangerous is that MAD is off the table. With a normal company you can countersue and tie up their sales,no sales to tie up with a troll.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Deviate_X
by Stephen! on Wed 4th Sep 2013 19:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by Deviate_X"
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

I think Microsoft actually Won the patent war, sometime ago, everyone but Google is paying up, and they can only evade that for a limited amount of time.


Wouldn't Microsoft suing Google require Microsoft to actual reveal to Google what the supposedly infringing patents actually are?

Isn't this why the patents are keep secret, since Google could probably modify Android to work around them?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Deviate_X
by kurkosdr on Wed 4th Sep 2013 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Deviate_X"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Wouldn't Microsoft suing Google require Microsoft to actual reveal to Google what the supposedly infringing patents actually are?

Isn't this why the patents are keep secret, since Google could probably modify Android to work around them?


Isn't Google already doing that? (via Motorola)

This is why patent trolling won't damage Android. Remember, Motorola hasn't paid to MS or Nokia a single patent extortion fee (save for licenses for standard essential stuff paid to them via patent pools). Which means that if MS or Nokia want their patent trolling to have any credibility, they have to sue Motorola, which means revealing the patents they think were infringed, which means Google will either invalidate them in court or work around them in Android. All the other OEMs have to do is sit back and relax while Google clears the minefield.

Motorola has already invalidated a great deal of patents MS threw their way. The only reason OEMs still pay extortion fees to MS is because of the FAT32 patents and because their own UIs may infringe MS patents.

The fact is: Motorola is making and selling phones in the US (Moto X) and is not paying MS or Nokia a single extortion fee, so you can easily understand MS or Nokia have nothing left to patent troll Stock Android.

Edited 2013-09-04 21:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Deviate_X
by tylerdurden on Sun 8th Sep 2013 19:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Deviate_X"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

I think Motorola was told to fuck off in court, did any of those extortion attempts even made it from the hearing phase?

Reply Score: 2

Ultimate irony
by avgalen on Wed 4th Sep 2013 15:16 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

Technically there is nothing that would stop the new Nokia from making an Android based phone. If that means they would have to pay Microsoft for their patents wouldn't that look silly?

(of course all of this is extremely unlikely to actually happen)

Also Thom, really, is this article not pure clickbait? Nokia is one of few companies that really has great phone/mobile patents on really important things. If somebody would be using their patents without a license Nokia would have every right to go after a licensing deal. None of that would even begin to qualify as a patent troll

Reply Score: 4

RE: Ultimate irony
by Nelson on Wed 4th Sep 2013 15:37 UTC in reply to "Ultimate irony"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

According to the agreement of the sell off, they can't make Nokia branded smartphones until 2016.

Even then it wouldn't make sense, as they just sold 36,000 employees to Microsoft. They'd be essentially starting from scratch.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Ultimate irony
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 4th Sep 2013 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Ultimate irony"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

What if they just re-licensed the Nokia brand to a Chinese company, like Xiaomi? It would help the acceptance of the brand outside of China, and have great software behind it.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Ultimate irony
by jgfenix on Wed 4th Sep 2013 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Ultimate irony"
jgfenix Member since:
2006-05-25

The could buy Jolla.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Ultimate irony
by shmerl on Wed 4th Sep 2013 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ultimate irony"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Jolla would be mad to agree to that. Those people left Nokia on purpose. They have no desire to repeat the same problems all over again.

Edited 2013-09-04 19:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Ultimate irony
by Ithamar on Thu 5th Sep 2013 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ultimate irony"
Ithamar Member since:
2006-03-20

Does this comment remind anyone of a company called Be, Inc, which decided it wasn't worth "coming home" to Apple either? (Just before they ran out of money and died).....

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ultimate irony
by bnolsen on Wed 4th Sep 2013 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Ultimate irony"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Starting from scratch is where nokia needs to be then. The nokia brand is still decent, they could rely on chinese manufacturing to design and build their phones, put on non junked up vanilla android, keep updates going and become a player again very quickly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Ultimate irony
by Nelson on Wed 4th Sep 2013 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ultimate irony"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Starting from scratch is where nokia needs to be then. The nokia brand is still decent, they could rely on chinese manufacturing to design and build their phones, put on non junked up vanilla android, keep updates going and become a player again very quickly.


I really don't think this is going to happen, but to each his own. If core Nokia wanted to remain in devices, they would've retained D&S.

They essentially spun off Devices with Microsoft picking it up.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Ultimate irony
by r_a_trip on Thu 5th Sep 2013 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Ultimate irony"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, shedding 36,000 expensive employees gives Nokia the option to start again with a much smaller division and a lot of the old obligations in the Nokia D&S are probably Microsoft's "problem" now.

As for the branding, if it only pertains to the name Nokia, I have a suggestion for a new brand; aIkon!. Should be different enough from Nokia and as a bonus it doesn't carry the connotations of the Symbian legacy.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 4th Sep 2013 16:02 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Nokia could decide to try to sell its patent portfolio as a whole if the company thought it could get a price approaching the Motorola deal, Pierantozzi said, adding that Microsoft likely was not willing to pay that much.

Nokia "probably just weren't getting the price they were looking for," he added.


Google should buy the patents, before some nasty troll gets them.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by shmerl
by Deviate_X on Wed 4th Sep 2013 16:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

"Nokia could decide to try to sell its patent portfolio as a whole if the company thought it could get a price approaching the Motorola deal, Pierantozzi said, adding that Microsoft likely was not willing to pay that much.

Nokia "probably just weren't getting the price they were looking for," he added.


Google should buy the patents, before some nasty troll gets them.
"

Lol. I think Google, and its manufacturers are the no.1 target for these patents.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/enterprise-it/infrastructur...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 4th Sep 2013 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

They are a target, or they buy them. That can be Nokia's plan.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by Nelson on Wed 4th Sep 2013 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Or Microsoft buys the rest, Google is by no means a lock. In fact I'd say they're at a disadvantage given what they paid for Moto

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by mutantsushi on Wed 4th Sep 2013 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

MS bought a licence to the patents. They obviously didn't want to buy the patents outright, or they would have done so. It makes no sense to compete to buy them outright after having passed over that opportunity and already having shelled out for the licence, you don't pay for a licence and the patents themselves when the patents themselves provides everything a licence does and more.

I fail to see how having bought Moto pertains to this at all, Google certainly has more cash now than when they bought Moto, more than $50 billion. Nobody ever suggested they were a 'lock'.

Edited 2013-09-04 21:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by shmerl
by Nelson on Wed 4th Sep 2013 23:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shmerl"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

MS bought a licence to the patents. They obviously didn't want to buy the patents outright, or they would have done so. It makes no sense to compete to buy them outright after having passed over that opportunity and already having shelled out for the licence, you don't pay for a licence and the patents themselves when the patents themselves provides everything a licence does and more.


That's assuming that they were for sale, if Nokia wanted to retain them then they were within their rights to do so, and I think they had enough leverage.

Especially if IPR is how Nokia intends to monetize in the future.


I fail to see how having bought Moto pertains to this at all, Google certainly has more cash now than when they bought Moto, more than $50 billion. Nobody ever suggested they were a 'lock'.


Well, Motorola has given Google approximately zero bang for their buck. All of their patent offensives with Moto have failed. Every single one. They don't want to be burned again.

I'm sure Motorola looked very attractive IP wise before their purchase, I don't think there's the stomach for something like this in the future.

Reply Score: 3