The competition between technology giants based on consumer products seems healthy, but there's an aggressive battle if the companies drag each other to courtrooms. Nokia did just that and sued Apple over patent infringement in Germany and the U.S. last year. The Nokia-Apple patent war took an unexpected turn as both companies have decided to settle and move on... together.
The courtroom battles between Nokia and Apple are several years old – all of them based on claims that Apple infringed on some of Nokia's essential patents used in the products. Following the suit in December 2016, Apple pulled Withings products from its online and retail stores. Now that the companies have settled, Apple will resume sales of Nokia's health products.
"We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia," Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, said in a press release on Tuesday.
Under the new agreement, Nokia and Apple will operate as business partners where the Finnish-based tech titan will provide network infrastructure products and services to the Cupertino-based iPhone maker. In addition to that, Apple will pay an undisclosed amount of cash payment to Nokia up-front, along with additional revenues. Precise details of the agreement remain confidential.
"This agreement will strengthen our collaboration. We look forward to supporting Apple," Basil Alwan, President of Nokia's IP/Optical Networks business, said in a statement.
Nokia will disclose patent licensing revenue in its quarterly announcements, and the revenues from the latest agreement with Apple will be reflected in the Q2 2017 quarter results. The up-front cash payment from Apple will be used in update of its capital structure optimization program.
This is an important milestone for both Apple and Nokia as both companies were suing one another since 2009. Both companies had entered a licensing agreement in 2011, but Nokia sued Apple once again after it continued to infringe upon its patents. Will this business partnership mark the end of a patent dispute? Only time will tell.