You might have heard almost 2 years ago Nokia sued Apple for Patent Infringement. Well, 20 months later they settle and Nokia agrees to license its patents to Apple. How much you ask? We may never know but we can be sure it was for a lot of money. According to some sources, the settlement is enough to cushion Nokia while it transitions from Symbian to Windows Phone7.
While this may seem like a defeat for Apple, some are saying that this is what they call “Sweet Defeat”, and Spells Trouble for Android. How?
A guy name Florian Mueller from FOSS Patents actually predicted this outcome.
“Apple is embroiled in litigation with the three leading Android device makers (Motorola, HTC and Samsung). Nokia doesn’t have any litigation worries at the moment, but part of its new strategy is to ratchet up the monetization of its patent portfolio. The fact that Nokia has demonstrated its ability to defeat Apple — after the most bitterly contested patent dispute that this industry has seen to date — is a clear proof of concept. Other companies whom Nokia will ask to pay royalties will have to think very hard whether to pay or pick a fight.”
If you have been keeping up with this kind of stuff, you know that Apple has suits against some of the top Manufactures of Android Devices as well.
“Given that Android is in many ways a rip-off of Apple’s operating software, Android-based devices are highly likely to infringe on largely the same Nokia patents that Apple now felt forced to pay for,” Mueller says.
So basically, Nokia most likely will go after those same manufactures looking for license agreements. Chances are they won’t want a fight and would have to settle. If not, well if Apple lost, what makes you think you can win?
“We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees,” said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop in his victory speech. “This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.”
After the news broke, Florian Mueller says, “I don’t hold shares in any tech company, but if I were an Apple shareholder, I would probably view this outcome favorably. Nokia emerges victorious, but this is a sweet defeat for Apple because its competitors — especially those building Android-based devices — will also have to pay Nokia, and most if not all of them will likely have to pay more on a per-unit basis because they don’t bring as much intellectual property to the table as Apple definitely did. So from a competitive point of view, I don’t think Apple loses much. On the bottom line its profitability may even benefit from this because Apple’s margins face no greater threat than Android-style commoditization of smartphone technologies.”
We can’t say for sure he is right but if he is… Things might look a little different soon.