After months of legal battles, HTC and Nokia announced today a “patent and technology collaboration agreement” that will end all their legal conflicts.
As part of the deal, HTC will make payments to Nokia and the two companies will collaborate in technology development; the collaboration will involve HTC’s LTE patent portfolio and will “strengthen Nokia’s licensing offerings”, though it’s not clear for now what these collaboration entails. Moreover, HTC and Nokia said they would “explore future technology collaboration opportunities”.
The two companies have not disclosed the terms of the agreement.
Nokia first sued HTC in 2012 based on dozens of patents covering hardware and software technology related to wireless communication, phone design, and user interfaces. The Finnish company has been fairly successful at litigating against HTC, notably obtaining a ban on HTC’s One family in Germany based on patents related to Bluetooth and NFC communication. Nokia also obtained a ban on the HTC One Mini in the UK, and was close to obtaining import restrictions on the One in the US.
Nokia will soon become part of Microsoft, with whom HTC signed a long-term patent deal back in 2010. The Taiwanese company also struck a 10-year cross-licensing deal with Apple in November 2012.
HTC declared itself pleased with the agreement, which removes a constant threat and allows it to focus on getting through a difficult period.
This latest peace treaty follows several high-profile patent deals signed from the beginning of the year, such as the one between Google and Samsung, Google and Lenovo, and Samsung, Google, and Cisco.
HTC AND NOKIA SIGNED A PATENT AND TECHNOLOGY COLLABORATION AGREEMENT
All Patent litigation between the companies dismissed
Taipei, Taiwan, February 7, 2014 — Nokia and HTC have settled all pending patent litigation between them, and entered into a patent and technology collaboration agreement. HTC will make payments to Nokia and the collaboration will involve HTC’s LTE patent portfolio, further strengthening Nokia’s licensing offering. The companies will also explore future technology collaboration opportunities. The full terms of the agreement are confidential.
“We are very pleased to have reached a settlement and collaboration agreement with HTC, which is a long standing licensee for Nokia’s standards essential patents,” said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. “This agreement validates Nokia’s implementation patents and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities.“
“Nokia has one of the most preeminent patent portfolios in the industry.” said Grace Lei, General Counsel of HTC. “As an industry pioneer in smartphones with a strong patent portfolio, HTC is pleased to come to this agreement, which will enable us to stay focused on innovation for consumers.”