(Yicai) Jan. 25 -- Chinese phone maker Oppo Mobile Telecommunications and Finnish telecoms equipment giant Nokia have signed a global cross-licensing patent agreement covering fifth-generation and other mobile communication technologies, bringing their 31-month legal wrangle to a close.
The deal resolves all pending patent litigation between the pair in all jurisdictions, Oppo and Nokia announced separately yesterday, and they agreed to keep the terms confidential. Espoo-based Nokia will receive payments from Oppo for several years and catch-up payments to cover non-payment during the dispute period.
Oppo and Nokia had been locked in legal battles since July 2021 after failing to agree on new FRAND, or fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory, licensing fees for the Finnish firm’s 5G patents. Nokia sued Oppo in more than 10 countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, and Finland, with mixed results.
“This agreement reflects the mutual recognition and respect for each other's intellectual property and lays the foundation for future collaboration between Oppo and Nokia,” said Feng Ying, chief intellectual property officer at Dongguan-based Oppo.
On Nov. 28, a court in the Chinese city of Chongqing fixed the range for the telecom industry's 5G standard global accumulated fee rate at between 4.341 percent and 5.273 percent. The ruling was the first by a Chinese court regarding the global FRAND royalty rate for standard essential patent licensing, resulting in Nokia having to settle disputes with mobile vendors such as Oppo.
Commenting on the deal struck with Oppo, Nokia Technologies President Jenni Lukander said “the new agreement -- along with the other major smartphone agreements we have concluded over the past year -- will provide long-term financial stability to our licensing business.”
Because of the many patents involved in 5G technology, a single device or technology solution may encompass multiple patents. So the FRAND licensing fee is determined by adding up all essential patent usage rates, while the specific method of calculation is negotiated between patent holder and users.
5G commercialization has expanded quickly around the world in the past three years, but the industry does not have a unified standard on how much 5G patent fees should be, deepening the conflict among tech giants. US chip giant Qualcomm and Apple were in dispute between 2017 and 2019, after which Sweden's Ericsson and Nokia litigated against various phone vendors.
Editor: Martin Kadiev