For quite some time, Nokia has been mentioning the automotive industry as a space where they can expand their patent licensing business, because our cars are getting more and more connected and Nokia has a huge pool of patents related to connecting things wirelessly.
One of the big names in the automotive industry is German car maker Daimler, owner of the popular Mercedes brand, among others. Earlier this year, because of the inability to reach an agreement related to patent licensing, Nokia started suing Daimler for patent infringement.
According to FossPatents, that has an excellent coverage of IP cases in the tech industry and I definitely recommend checking them out, there are at least 16 “German patent infringement cases against Daimler” brought up by Nokia and other Avanci members.
Avanci is a platform for patent licensing allowing patent holders to put their patents to the “market place” and companies interested in licensing, to easily license all the patents related to a particular industry segment. Nokia is a member of the Avanci platform.
The latest Avanci member to sue Daimler in Germany is Conversant, alleging Daimler infringed a patent previously owned by Nokia called “apparatus and method for providing a connection (EP2934050)”. According to FossPatents, Nokia brought up 10 infringement cases against Daimler, Sharp did 5 and Conversant now this one in German courts, adding the number to 16.
Daimler and some of their partners like Continental complained to EU about Nokia’s licensing praxis asking the Union’s bodies to define how patents in the auto industry should be licensed. The fact that Nokia already made a patent deal with car makers from Volkswagen Group Porsche and Audi probably won’t help Daimler’s case, but, as always, time will tell.