The two major players in the smartphone industry, Nokia and HTC, have announced that they have agreed on a “patent and technology collaboration agreement” that will settle all pending patent litigation between them. The full terms of the agreement are not known and are being kept confidential.
Paul Melin, Nokia’s chief intellectual property officer said, “We are very pleased to have reached a settlement and collaboration agreement with HTC, which is a long-standing licensee for Nokia’s standards essential patents.”
Although not much has been revealed, the companies said that HTC would pay Nokia an undisclosed sum that will settle all outstanding litigation between the two. As per the agreement both the companies will work together on future technology collaboration that will involve HTC’s patents on LTE technology which is a high-speed wireless data transmission technology often called 4G.
Nokia has maintained an aggressive licensing tactic. In 2012, Nokia sued HTC, RIM, and ViewSonic for infringing 45 of its patents across the globe. Nokia had asserted that HTC was engaged in unauthorized use of proprietary innovations.
As a result of the patent litigation, last year in March, HTC lost a case in Germany as it was found to infringe upon a power-saving technology of Nokia.
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled in September that HTC had infringed two patents related to cellphones and tablets held by Nokia.
Again in October, the High Court of England and Wales ruled that some HTC devices infringed on a Nokia mobile network patent and as part of that judgement Nokia had won a sales ban against the HTC One Mini smartphone in the U.K.
HTC’s general counsel, Grace Lei, said her company was “pleased to come to this agreement” as this would now help the company to stay focussed on innovation for consumers.
In 2011, Nokia and Apple settled all its patents disputes where Apple paid a one-time fee of €430M to Nokia. In a highly competitive environment, patent disputes between companies has become a common occurrence in the industry. Companies are constantly at logger heads when rivals release products and devices that are similar to what they have created.
To check the official press release of Nokia, click here.
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