Apple's Nokia Deal Could Cost Android Manufacturers Too

Apple's patent licensing deal with Nokia may have some additional consequences beyond the immediate effects of the settlement. By agreeing to a long-term licensing agreement with Nokia, Apple gets a lengthly, defensive legal fight out of the way. This allows Apple to focus all its legal energies on major battles with Samsung, HTC and Motorola.

Speaking with the NYTimes, Apple indicates that the settlement is actually a cross-licensing one:

Apple and Nokia have agreed to drop all of our current lawsuits and enter into a license covering some of each other’s patents, but not the majority of the innovation that makes the iPhone unique. We are glad to put this behind us and get back to focusing on our respective businesses.

There a larger, much more strategic victory here as well. By agreeing to pay royalties for Nokia's patents, Apple has set a market price -- and given Nokia's patents serious legitimacy. Apple wouldn't pay anything if they didn't have to, and other companies may not want to fight over turf Apple has already acquiesced to Nokia.

jobs
Other companies, notably Android handset manufacturers, may now have to play ball with Nokia on these patents -- and they don't necessarily have the margins to send 1% of gross revenues to Nokia as easily as Apple can. In fact, because Apple has so many of its own patents (some of which it cross-licensed to Nokia) other manufacturers may have to pay even more for the same licenses.

Florian Mueller has suggested just that at FOSS Patents:

Given that Android is in many ways a rip-off of Apple's operating software, Android-based devices are highly likely to infringe on largely the same Nokia patents that Apple now felt forced to pay for.
[...]
This is a sweet defeat for Apple because its competitors -- especially those building Android-based devices -- will also have to pay Nokia, and most if not all of them will likely have to pay more on a per-unit basis because they don't bring as much intellectual property to the table as Apple definitely did.

Apple pays off Nokia, but exposes the competition as well. Competition that doesn't have as much money or intellectual property to barter with.

(Photo by Acaben/Flickr)

Top Rated Comments

Doctor Q Avatar
127 months ago
The "winner" of a cross-licensing deal, if you want to think of it that way, is the one who gets paid, in this case Nokia. I doubt that Apple has had trouble because its lawyers are spread too thin, but the settlement is presumably worth it to Apple. They may have expected to owe these same licensing payments anyway as a result of the lawsuits.

It's best for our interests as consumers if companies have strong reasons to do the R&D for new developments, with rights to their patents being one of their incentives. But it's also in our interests to see new developments used in many products, which can result from cross-licensing and even from patent infringement! Somebody (us) ultimately has to pay for it, of course, but I'd rather pay for R&D than for court battles.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hellhammer Avatar
127 months ago
nice headline grabbing BS by our media. It is safe to bet that the other manufactures were already paying the for the patents. I know LG, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and Blackberry already have an agreement with them and most of them have patents sharing with Nokia.

I love the piss poor reporting the media does.
Amen to this. Other OEMs have been making phones way before Apple even came up with the idea of iPhone. They have already settled with Nokia and are paying the license fees, so why would this hurt Android?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gkpm Avatar
127 months ago
So much hatred against Florian Mueller.

The guy has actually given some good coverage on the Lodsys issues lately.

Don't see the point of such ad hominem attacks. If you have beef with the actual article then say it.

To me it appears the two platforms are similar, so he has a point.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gkpm Avatar
127 months ago
The patents are described in Nokia filing, they're hardware patents
No they are not. There's software patents as well. Stop spreading rubbish.

For example one of the patents is on "Mobile Station with Touch Input Having Automatic Symbol Magnification Function,"

Which is how the iPhone zooms in on the key when you press it on the virtual keyboard. That's a software patent.

See the actual filing here: http://tinyurl.com/yd4rcop (you have to register with the ITC, but it's free)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BLACKFRIDAY Avatar
127 months ago
******* Florian Müller.

Real mature.

Really guys, when you read the name Florian Müller you should automatically keep it away from MacRumors. The guy is a paid mouthpiece for Microsoft and nothing else.

Great assumptions.

Whatever he says you can be sure that he paints the bleakest picture possible for any Microsoft competitor. Google and anything related to Google is top of his hitlist because at the moment Google looks even more threatening to Microsoft than Apple does, but that can change any moment when he gets different instructions from his paymasters.

That's true but I don't see any reason why he would be bothered.

This site is supposed to be about rumours. I don't mind a bit of actual fact in between the rumours :D but paid disinformation doesn't belong here.

May be the whole news is wrong and baseless, but it's a good rumour anyway. ;)

"Good coverage"? Florian Müller is the one who advises iOS developers to suck it up and pay the patent trolls. And Android developers should do the same.

I can quote a number of people who said 'paying up' was better than kind of litigation whatsoever.
If I remember right, Marco Arment suggested all developers pay and be happy. Maybe that was a short term solution but was indeed the right thing to do if Apple didn't play the game. Even JohnGruber suggested that Litigation can be a big pain and one can suffer a lot.

I don't see anything wrong with his suggession. Like many others, no one knew that Apple was gonna step in, the way things turned out.

Look, when there is a history of one article after the other by the same author spewing misinformation, by an author who has actually no qualifications whatsoever, and each single article is attacking Microsoft competitors, and in many cases making exactly the same statements that Microsoft makes officially at the same time, then an attack on the person is not "ad hominem" anymore.

Provide links so even I can understand that?

And when I strongly agree with Rodimus Prime, as I do on this point, you can safely assume that he is correct.

Maybe he is, but I think he is too short tempered and abusive some times.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rmwebs Avatar
127 months ago
And Android still has to face the Java lawsuit that might wipe them out.

I am sure many people can't wait.

I guess you'd be all for an Apple dictatorship over the market wouldn't you. Are you sure you're a consultant? :rolleyes:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh rate, including display industry analyst Ross Young, leakers ...
unc0ver version 6 release

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 6.0.0 Released With iOS 14.3 Compatibility

Sunday February 28, 2021 9:26 am PST by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 6.0.0 of its software, which can allegedly be used to jailbreak any device running iOS 11.0 through iOS 14.3 using a kernel vulnerability. The unc0ver website describes how the tool has been extensively tested across a range of iOS devices running various software versions, including an iPhone 12 Pro Max running iOS ...