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Posted at 10:09 AM ET, 06/14/2011

Apple, Nokia settle patent disputes


Nokia said the settlement with Apple will boost its second-quarter report. (By Mike Segar/Reuters)
Nokia announced this morning that it had settled years of patent disputes with Apple. As part of a settlement, Apple will pay Nokia a one-time payment and ongoing royalties.

Wired’s Charlie Sorrel suspects that Nokia’s success in this dispute may spur the company to sue others, such as Google’s Android division, for patent infringement.

But Nilay Patel of This is my next said that this isn’t a full-on victory for Nokia, even though Apple is the one reaching into its pocket.

A number of things could have contributed to the companies’ decision to settle, he said. Apple may have simply decided it was cheaper to settle than to keep on with litigation. He also pointed out that patent licensing has become an increasingly important part of Nokia’s revenue, and that the Finnish company may have decided it didn’t want Apple challenging those patents.

Another factor may have been Nokia’s recent deal with Microsoft to make Windows Phone 7 its platform of choice.

Patel said that Microsoft and Apple have cross-licensing agreements, which were the subject of some of the friction between Nokia and Apple. “It’s possible that Nokia simply falls under Redmond’s patent umbrella by using Windows Phone 7 — meaning that all Nokia and Apple had to do was figure out a reasonable cash royalty,” Patel wrote.

The news release did not disclose the amount of the settlement, though one analyst told the Wall Street Journal that the deal net Nokia as much as $722 million.

Related stories:

Apple is the second-largest smartphone vendor; Nokia remains No. 1

The Circuit: Nokia files another suit against Apple

Nokia to adopt Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, scuttling Symbian

By  |  10:09 AM ET, 06/14/2011

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