Apple settles in Nokia patent row

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The Independent Online

Beleaguered mobile phone group Nokia had cause for celebration yesterday after it triumphed in a patent dispute with Apple.

The Finnish company, which recently warned on profits, announced it had signed a patent licence agreement with Apple that would settle all litigation between the companies. The Californian electronics giant, which first launched the iPhone in 2007, will make a one-off payment to Nokia followed by ongoing royalties.

Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Nokia, said: "This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry-leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market." The company said it had invested close to €43bn in research and development over the past two decades and has more than 10,000 "patent families".

Nokia first slapped its rival with a lawsuit in October 2009, claiming the iPhone infringed on 10 of its patents. It claimed Apple was "trying to get a free ride on the back of Nokia's innovation" pointing to supposed infringements, including the touch screen, caller ID and 3G technology. Apple countersued over patent infringement two months later.

Yesterday's victory was a ray of light as Nokia battles to turn its fortunes around. Earlier this month it revealed sales had fallen in the second quarter, forcing it to abandon its full-year profits. The share price tumbled 18 per cent following the news.