Apple Inc. renews patent licencing agreement with Nokia

Apple iPhone
The Apple iPhone

Nokia Corporation has announced that Apple Inc. has signed a new long-term patent license agreement with the company. The new agreement will replace the current license, which is due to expire at the end of 2023, although the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The license covers Nokia’s fundamental inventions in 5G and other key technologies. Under the agreement, Nokia will receive payments from Apple Inc. for a multi-year period. Nokia expects to recognize the revenue related to this new patent license agreement starting in January 2024.

Jenni Lukander, President of Nokia Technologies, said, “We are delighted to have concluded a long-term patent license agreement with Apple on an amicable basis. The agreement reflects the strength of Nokia’s patent portfolio, decades-long investments in R&D, and contributions to cellular standards and other technologies.”

In 2009, Nokia and Apple Inc. engaged in a high-profile litigation after Nokia sued for patent infringement, claiming that the Apple iPhone infringed on its patents for wireless technologies. The dispute was settled in 2011, with Apple agreeing to pay Nokia an undisclosed amount for the use of its patents.

Nokia’s patent portfolio is built on more than €140 billion invested in R&D since 2000. It is composed of around 20,000 patent families, including over 5,500 patent families declared essential to 5G. Nokia contributes its inventions to open standards in return for the right to license them on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

While the majority of its business is based on network infrastructure, Nokia also generates revenue streams by licensing its technologies as well as allowing other companies to use the Nokia and Alcatel brands.

Over recent years, the Finnish corporation has been involved in several high-profile patent litigations. In 2017, the company received a $2B upfront cash from Apple after a quick dispute over its patents. Mercedes-owner Daimler also engaged in a patent dispute with Nokia after refusing to pay royalties. The company also has current patent licensing agreements with companies such as Lenovo, Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi, among many others.

More recently, Nokia instigated a long legal battle against Oppo for refusing to pay licensing fees, resulting in all its sister brands (OnePlus, Vivo, and Realme) leaving Germany. The Finns also sued the Chinese in several other markets, seeking royalty fees, some of which have been won.