RIM bows to Nokia’s patent superiority, agrees to ongoing payments and a one-off sum

Nokia Office LogoResearch in Motion has settled with Nokia over a patent dispute, resulting in both a one-off and ongoing payments from the BlackBerry manufacturer to the Finnish firm. Nokia’s intellectual property officer said in a statement, “We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM and reached this new agreement, while maintaining Nokia’s ability to protect our unique product differentiation.”

Nokia took legal action against RIM last month in the UK, U.S. and Canada, as it alleged the company was using Wi-Fi technology not covered in a series of licenses obtained in 2003. Research in Motion had a different opinion, but not one that was good enough to convince the courts.

The financial terms of Nokia and RIM’s deal hasn’t been made public, but it’s obvious from Nokia’s statement that the money is flowing in only one direction. It’s another major patent win for Nokia, as it signed a similar deal with Apple last year, where the Cupertino company agreed to pay ongoing license fees and a one-off payment to Nokia too. The latest win again not only shows how extensive Nokia’s patent portfolio is, but also, as FossPatents points out, how reasonably priced its licensing fees must be, as companies seem more willing to settle than do battle.

Nokia still has outstanding litigation against HTC and ViewSonic, and victory over RIM will only help them reach similar deals with these two companies. A dispute against Asus and the Nexus 7 was talked about earlier this year – also related to Wi-Fi patents – but nothing has been heard of since, prompting industry watchers to speculate that the pair reached a deal behind closed doors.

According to reports, Nokia holds more than 10,000 technology patents and has invested $45 billion in research and development over the past 20 years, for which it earns 500 million euros each year in royalties.

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