Quick Note: Nokia, HTC Strike a Patent Deal, End All Pending Lawsuits
February 7, 2014 8:02 PM
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Nokia and HTC will also work on projects together in regards to HTC's LTE patents
Nokia and HTC have decided to play nice and settle all ongoing patent disputes between the two.
, HTC will pay the Finnish company a fee for access to its technology, but the fee amount is being kept quiet.
In addition, Nokia and HTC will work on projects together in regards to HTC's LTE patents, and will even pair up for other future technology projects.
"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," said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. "This agreement validates Nokia's implementation patents and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities."
Nokia and HTC are just one recent example of tech companies working together rather than arguing. For instance, Samsung settled with Google, Ericsson and Cisco separately in recent weeks to end litigation related to patents.
However, one notable patent rivalry still remains, and that's between Samsung and Apple. The two have been duking it out since April 2011 when Apple accused Samsung of being an iPhone and iPad copycat.
But there's hope for an end to the bloody battle (at least in the U.S.), as both Apple and Samsung
agreed to mediation
over U.S. patents last month. Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon and Apple CEO Tim Cook agreed to meet regarding settlement opportunities on or before February 19.
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2/9/2014 5:08:05 PM
More like the "little guy" having to pay the ante to get dealt in. HTC came to the mobile business as an ODM (a manufacturer like Hon Hai that produces devices for other companies) as they gained more experience in the field they struck out to be a brand of their own.
That's great, except that HTC came into a mature market with major players who had invested a huge amount of money into research to develop the market. Nokia, QC, Ericsson, Motorola, etc. all spent piles of money through the 80s and 90s putting together the fundamentals of the modern cellular system. On the other side of this you have companies like MS, Apple, IBM, etc. building the modern computing OS, UI, and APIs.
HTC did little to none of this work. They then entered the market and started producing devices that worked using the same designs these other companies put the effort into developing. It's hardly surprising those companies go after them to recover their investment. Without a significant relevant portfolio of their own to cross-license HTC has little choice but to pay up.
Also I know Reclaimer labeled his question rhetorical, I assume because he knows the answer, but others may not know the answer, so I'll explain.
When Qualcomm sells their chips the contracts are written so that the purchasing company is responsible for licensing any relevant patents and Qualcomm will not provide licenses for patents except those belonging to Qualcomm. There are several reasons for this, one is that some customers already have cross-licensing agreements in place, so Qualcomm would be charging for a license fee that manufacturer doesn't need, or would need to have intimate knowledge of their customers licensing (something that tends to be kept quiet) to know which licenses they need to pay and which they don't. Another is the issue of dead stock liability, Qualcomm does not want to be a position where they are liable for license fees if orders are cancelled and chips don't get to customers. This is fairly common in B2B sales contracts like this.
2/9/2014 11:37:03 PM
I get companies spent time and money to patent tech stuff. Why can't tech patent follow how drug patent work. I think they have 7 years then other companies are free to bring generic drugs to market. Have a tech company get paid a fee for a certain time frame (5 years or so) and then it is open to other companies. Just a thought.
2/10/2014 3:25:58 AM
Because, generally speaking, "normal" patents don't have the potential of saving lives and benefiting humanity.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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