Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia and Chinese smartphone vendor Vivo have signed a multi-year 5G patent license agreement. The agreement resolves all pending patent litigation between the parties in all jurisdictions. Under the agreement, Vivo will make royalty payments to Nokia, along with catch-up payments to cover the dispute period. This is the sixth major smartphone patent license agreement Nokia has signed in recent times, The company has now almost completed its smartphone license renewal cycle. The terms of the agreement remain confidential as agreed between the parties. Both companies officially confirmed the global patent cross-licensing agreement.
Nokia and Vivo have signed a multi-year, cross-licence patent agreement covering 5G technologies. This ends all current litigation. The agreement reflects mutual recognition and respect for each other’s patent value in cellular technology. Nokia has now concluded patent license agreements with six major smartphone vendors in the past thirteen and has almost completed its smartphone license renewal cycle.
Nokia and Vivo have been involved in several litigations over the past few years. In December 2021, a previous agreement between the two companies, where Vivo paid Nokia for the use of its patented 2G and 3G technologies, expired, leading to legal action in a German court.
In April 2023, the Regional Court Mannheim found that Vivo infringed three Nokia standard essential patents, EP 2 981 103, EP 3 220 562, and EP 2 087 626, resulting in the court granting Nokia an injunction against Vivo. While the Chinese company appealed, Nokia enforced the injunction in June 2023, and Vivo later removed its products from the market. Nokia also sued Vivo at the Regional Court Munich over two more SEPs, EP 3 396 868 and EP 3 457 586, and Vivo responded with a counterclaim in Düsseldorf, with EP 3 618 530 at issue. Vivo was also one of several opponents who succeeded in revoking Nokia patent EP 2 087 626.
Details of the agreement
Under the agreement, Vivo will make royalty payments to Nokia, along with catch-up payments to cover the dispute period. The terms of the agreement remain confidential as agreed between the parties. The agreement resolves all pending patent litigation between the parties in all jurisdictions. As we would all expect, there are no figures attached to the agreement. The exact amount that would be paid is always confidential and is never released to the public
Jenni Lukander, President of Nokia Technologies, said:
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with vivo, which reflects mutual respect for each other’s intellectual property rights. vivo is one of the leading players in the global smartphone industry. We look forward to bringing more innovation to their users around the world through our collaboration. By concluding the licensing agreement with vivo, it demonstrates Nokia’s significant contribution to key technologies in smartphone industry and it will provide long-term stability to our licensing business for years to come.”
Nokia also affirmed in a statement via its spokesperson that this deal takes care of all lawsuits between both brands. Of course, this will be very good news for Vivo. Nokia’s spokesperson said
“the agreement resolves all pending patent litigation between the parties in all jurisdictions. The terms of the agreement will remain confidential, as agreed upon by the parties.”
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Nokia’s related patents include approximately 20,000 patent families, including more than 6,000 5G essential patents. This is also the result of the group’s R&D investment of approximately 150 billion euros since 2000. The group said last month that it expects its intellectual property licensing business Nokia Technologies to generate operating profits of at least 140 million euros in 2024.
Xianwen Xu, General Manager of Legal Affairs Department at vivo, stated,
“vivo has dedicated significant resources to R&D in the field of 5G technology and established a comprehensive IP portfolio globally, creating an industry-leading patent portfolio. Up to now, vivo has successfully filed over 6,000 families of 5G standard-essential patents. We are pleased to have reached a global cross-license agreement with Nokia. Signing the agreement reflects the mutual recognition and respect for each other’s patent value in cellular technology, and also plays a significant role in fostering a positive development environment within the industry. vivo consistently places a high value on building and accumulating intellectual property. We are dedicated to investing in R&D of smart devices and intelligent services, providing extraordinary hi-tech products and services for users worldwide.”
Vivo’s official data shows that as of December 31, 2023, vivo has deployed 25,000 families of patent applications. They are active in more than 70 countries and regions around the world. They include 6,000+ families of 5G communication standard patents.
In concluding the multi-year 5G patent license agreement between Nokia and Vivo, it’s evident that both companies have taken significant steps to resolve their longstanding patent disputes and foster a mutually beneficial relationship. The agreement marks a pivotal moment in Nokia’s smartphone license renewal cycle. It solidifies its position as a key contributor to the development of essential 5G technologies.
Through this agreement, Vivo acknowledges Nokia’s patent value in cellular technology, paving the way for collaborative innovation and the creation of cutting-edge smart devices and services. The resolution of all pending patent litigation between the parties demonstrates a commitment to constructive dialogue and the avoidance of prolonged legal disputes.
Nokia’s President of Nokia Technologies, Jenni Lukander, emphasizes the company’s commitment to advancing 5G and beyond, highlighting the importance of licensing agreements in facilitating technology development and adoption across the global smartphone industry. This sentiment is echoed by Vivo’s general manager of the legal affairs department, Xianwen Xu, who emphasizes Vivo’s dedication to investing in research and development to deliver exceptional products and services to users worldwide.
The confidentiality surrounding the terms of the agreement is standard practice in such arrangements, ensuring the privacy and security of proprietary information while fostering a spirit of trust and cooperation between the parties involved. Overall, the Nokia-Vivo patent license agreement represents a significant milestone in the evolution of 5G technology and underscores the importance of collaboration and mutual respect in advancing innovation within the telecommunications industry. As both companies continue to push the boundaries of technological advancement, consumers can anticipate the emergence of new and innovative products that leverage the latest advancements in cellular technology.
Efe Udin is a seasoned tech writer with over seven years of experience. He covers a wide range of topics in the tech industry from industry politics to mobile phone performance. From mobile phones to tablets, Efe has also kept a keen eye on the latest advancements and trends. He provides insightful analysis and reviews to inform and educate readers. Efe is very passionate about tech and covers interesting stories as well as offers solutions where possible.