Feature Article

December 21, 2012

Nokia Settles Patent Dispute with BlackBerry Maker Research in Motion

In an exploit boost its dire financial situation, struggling Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia, has settled its patent dispute with BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion. Although the terms of agreement are kept confidential, earlier today Nokia said that it included a one-time payment to be booked in the fourth quarter, along with ongoing fees which will paid by RIM.

Having invested $ 60 billion in mobile research and development over the past two decades Nokia remains one of the industry's top patent holders, along with Qualcomm and Ericsson. As it battles to recover ground lost in the lucrative smartphone market to the likes of Apple and Samsung, Nokia has been trying to make use of that legacy to ensure its survival.

In an effort to help fund its fight back which was due to its sales and cash reserves falling and its credit rating cut to junk over the past year, Nokia announced in October a $ 990 million convertible bond. The agreement with RIM settles all existing patent litigation between the two companies, Nokia said, adding similar disputes with HTC Corp and ViewSonic still stood.

"This agreement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market," said Paul Melin, Nokia's chief intellectual property officer.

From patent royalties in key areas of mobile telephony, Nokia has earned around $ 660 million a year. According to some analysts, if it can negotiate successfully with more companies, it could earn hundreds of millions more. Due to the low number of BlackBerry sales, the RIM agreement was likely worth much less, however, its June 2011 settlement with Apple was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. By 10:00 GMT, Nokia shares fell three percent to 4.05 dollars. During the past few sessions, it has been retreating from its strong surge of the past month.

Edited by Carlos Olivera

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