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Nokia CEO Stephen Elop
Enter patent license agreement in which Apple pays Nokia

It was just yesterday when we reported that a Japanese market research firm predicts Apple will surpass Nokia in global market share by the end of this year. Against that backdrop, along with the rest of the mounting bad news coming from the Nokia camp, it's especially interesting to learn that Nokia and Apple have settled their ongoing patent dispute and have entered a patent license agreement.

The news was announced this morning via an official press release from Nokia. "We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees," said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. "This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."

The settlement comes after years of grappling in court. Nokia first filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging patent infringement in October of 2009. The judge sided with Apple in that case, but Nokia filed another suit earlier this year alleging that Apple also infringed on seven patents related to multi-tasking operating systems, data synchronization, positioning, call quality, and the use of Bluetooth accessories it holds. In response, Apple filed its own countersuit.

But in the settlement announced today, Nokia appears to be the clear winner. Apple will make a one-time payment to Nokia and continue to pay on-going royalties for the term of the agreement. The specific terms of the contract are confidential and were not disclosed. 

The settlement puts to rest all complaints that either company has against the other with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

It is also expected to have a positive impact on Nokia's recently revised Q2 2011 profit outlook.




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