Patent disputes are an ever-present concern with with big tech companies, and Apple is no exception. According to The Verge, Apple recently ended a suit with Nokia, costing it a two billion dollar up-front payment. The reason for this settlement could be to avoid another long, brutal court battle like Apple previously fought with Samsung.
“We got a substantial upfront cash payment of €1.7 billion from Apple, strengthening further our cash position. As said earlier, our plan is to provide more details on the intended use of cash in conjunction with our Q3 earnings,” Nokia said in a call to its investors regarding the settlement. Neither company has, however, disclosed the terms of the licensing agreement that go along with this payout.
Nokia and Apple have fought over patents and licensing twice in the last decade. This particular dispute began last year when “Nokia accused Apple of infringing on dozens of patents it owns, as well as patents owned by Nokia subsidiaries,” explains The Verge. This is not surprising, considering many smartphone makers license Nokia’s patents for many parts of their devices; from display technology to antenna design. After their last patent dispute, Apple and Nokia made a licensing deal in 2011.
“Apple reportedly did not want to sign a new deal and accused Nokia of seeking unfair terms,” The Verge article continues. “After Nokia filed suit in multiple countries, Apple went after the patent entities that were suing for more settlement and royalty money on Nokia’s behalf with an antitrust suit. That prompted Nokia to sue Apple directly. The dispute got ugly, with Apple briefly pulling Nokia-owned Withings’ products from its online store and from Apple Stores worldwide.”