Thursday, 18 June 2015

Nokia, LG Agree to Smartphone Patent Licensing Deal

ImagesNokia Technologies and LG have agreed to a smartphone patent licensing agreement, the companies announced on Tuesday. Under the terms of the deal, LG will pay royalties to Nokia for use of its patents on mobile communications.

The companies didn't say exactly what patent technologies LG has licensed from Nokia.

With the deal, LG has become the first company to join Nokia's mobile licensing program since the company sold its devices and services business to Microsoft for $7.2 billion. Nokia has approximately 30,000 patents.

Those patents relate to 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile communications technologies, and are licensed by over 60 companies.

The deal highlights the importance Nokia still plays in the smartphone space. While the company no longer produces devices, its patent portfolio is broad and for some companies, a required resource, in order for them to build products.

The deal also suggests Nokia is now a critical behind-the-scenes player in how smartphones operate.

When Nokia sold its smartphone business to Microsoft in 2014, the software giant agreed to pay $2.2 billion for access to Nokia's patent portfolio.

The deal was important for Microsoft, as it looked to build out its smartphone business with help from Nokia's technology, and crucial to Nokia as it looked beyond building handsets for its future.

Indeed, Nokia's patent portfolio is one of the most heralded in the mobile business, due in large part to its size and depth of technologies. It includes everything from major mobile features, including how devices connect to 4G networks, to the design of mobile phones.

The depth of Nokia's patent portfolio and the fact that the company would no longer sell smartphones became a cause for concern among regulators in the European Union in 2013. The euro zone's competition commissioner at the time, Joaquin Almunia, said that he hoped Nokia wouldn't "behave like a patent troll, or to use a more polite phrase, a patent assertion entity."Read More...

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