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Apple and Nokia end legal spat by signing multi-year patent agreement

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Nokia and Apple have announced that they have settled an ongoing intellectual property (IP) spat, with the duo signing a “multi-year” patent license.

Nokia and Apple settled a two-year legal battle back in 2011 over license fees for patents that Nokia owned, however late last year Nokia claimed that Apple had “declined subsequent offers” that Nokia had made for Apple to license additional “patented inventions” used in Apple products. On December 21, Nokia announced it was suing Apple for patent infringement in the U.S. and Germany, then a day later revealed it was expanding its litigation against Apple to cover 40 patents in 11 countries.

Not one to accept such action lying down, Apple responded immediately by pulling Withings’ health products — a company acquired by Nokia earlier that year — from the Apple Store.

Now, it seems, Nokia and Apple have kissed and made up, with a “patent license and business collaboration” agreement that ends all remaining litigation between the two firms. In real terms, this means that Nokia will provide “certain network infrastructure products and services” to Apple, while the Cupertino company will now begin selling Nokia’s digital health products in its online and brick-and-mortar stores.

 

“This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple,” said Nokia’s chief legal officer Maria Varsellona, in a statement. “It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers.”

Additionally, Apple and Nokia also revealed that they are now “exploring future collaboration” in digital health initiatives, with Nokia and Apple executives meeting up regularly.

“We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia,” added Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams.

While full details of the deal between Nokia and Apple are being withheld, Nokia noted that it does involve an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional payments being made during the course of the agreement.

 

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