Well, the first of the big patent litigations is over. Since this one involves Apple, the big winner is obviously the highly innovative company from Cupertiono, right? The company from which all others copy, right? Well, no, not exactly. The big winner is Nokia.
As was to be expected, the patent disagreements between Apple and Nokia have ended with a big settlement. Interestingly enough, and the reason why Nokia is the big winner, money is only flowing to Espoo – and Cupertino is only paying, not receiving. Apple will pay Nokia a one-time fee, as well as ongoing royalty fees. In return, both companies drop all litigation and complaints.
“We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees,” said Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Nokia, “This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.”
A good outcome, this, and also the most logical; Apple entered this fight with a bunch of measly software patents, while Nokia presented cold and harsh hardware patents it had been successfully licensing for decades. Still, I would’ve preferred seeing Apple’s software patents invalidated, but alas, that’s probably the reason Apple backed out in the first place.
Taking all Apple love / hate out of the equation this was logically going to be the conclusion to this. I don’t see anything in that Nokia press release that indicates Nokia “won” anything.
From a purely logical business perspective Apple have more than likely taken their “bunch of measly software patents” to the negotiating table and received a reasonably hefty discount on the license they would have otherwise been paying Nokia, which is likely what they were after in the first place.
The details of the settlement are unknown so different people will put their spin on it depending where their loyalties lie. Logically I suspect it’s been a win-win; Nokia got an Apple licensing deal – and cash – Apple got a discount.
That’s my take anyway.