Published December 21, 2012
HELSINKI – Struggling Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has settled its patent dispute with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in return for payments, as it tries to exploit its trove of technology patents to boost its finances.
Terms of the agreement were confidential, but Nokia said on Friday it included a one-time payment to be booked in the fourth quarter, as well as ongoing fees, all to be paid by RIM.
Nokia is one of the industry's top patent holders, having invested 45 billion euros ($60 billion) in mobile research and development over the past two decades.
It has been trying to make use of that legacy to ensure its survival, amid a fall in sales as well as cash. The Finnish firm is battling to recover lost ground in the lucrative smartphone market to the likes of Apple and Samsung.
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.
Nokia has earned around 500 million euros a year from patent royalties in key areas of mobile telephony.
Some analysts have said it could earn hundreds of millions more if it can negotiate with more companies successfully.
Analysts estimated its June 2011 settlement with Apple was worth hundreds of millions of euros.
($1 = 0.7555 euros)
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters and Mark Potter)