May 7, 2021
patent filing

On April 07, 2021, a long standing legal dispute initiated by Finland’s Nokia Oyj against China’s Lenovo in 2019, has finally been settled. The said dispute is known to have been contested since many years and in many jurisdictions. Though China’s Lenovo Group is one of the world’s biggest PC makers, it had been accused by Nokia for infringing patents on around twenty video-compression technologies. These cases were being fought in different countries such as United States, Brazil and India, in addition to six in Germany. Nokia was also counter-sued by Lenovo in California. [1]

In September 2020, a Munich court had declared that Lenovo had infringed one of Nokia’s patents and restricted Lenovo from selling products infringing the said patent. A stay order was however taken against the injunction in November 2020 by a German appeals court. [2]

According to the Finnish telecom maker, Lenovo has to make a net balancing payment to Nokia as part of the settlement. However, details of a cross-licence agreement, agreed upon between the two parties, remain confidential. [2] The chief intellectual property officer of Lenovo, Mr. Mulgrew stated in this regard that “The global accord struck will enable future collaboration between our companies for the benefit of customers worldwide”. [1]

Patent portfolio of Nokia is composed of at least 20,000 patent families, where around 3,500 patent families are asserted to be essential to 5G technology standard. In March, Nokia had signed a deal with Samsung to license patents including its innovations in video standards. [1] While it is also a known fact that Nokia’s Scandinavian rival i.e. Ericsson is also fighting an ongoing dispute over patents with Samsung and KPN NV, it would be interesting to see how that ends up and whether a global settlement accord would be struck in that case too. [2]

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1) Nokia, Lenovo settle patent dispute over video-compression technology []

2) Nokia, Lenovo Settle Long-Standing Patent Fight, Resolve All Pending Litigation []

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