Apple, Nokia Settle Patent Dispute

In the first ray of good news to shine on Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) in what seems like a long time, the Finnish handset maker announced on Tuesday it has signed a patent license agreement with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), a move that ends all litigation between the two companies. (See Nokia, Apple Settle Litigation.)

According to the terms of the deal in which Apple becomes a Nokia licensee, Apple will make a one-time payment to Nokia and pay on-going royalties for the duration of the agreement. The financial terms were not disclosed.

The agreement settles all litigation between the two companies: Both have agreed to withdraw their respective complaints to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) .

Nokia said the agreement with Apple will have a positive financial impact on its recently revised outlook for the second quarter of 2011. (See Nokia Lowers Outlook, Shares Slump .)

Why this matters
Nokia is in dire need of some good news and the licensing agreement with Apple is just that. The agreement clears from CEO Stephen Elop's desk what was set to be a long and expensive legal dispute with the iPhone maker.

Now, Elop can get back to the business of: Dealing with Nokia's shrinking market share ahead of the introduction of the first devices based on Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows Phone 7; dismissing rumors of the Finnish company's imminent sale; and getting interim CTO Henry Tirri up to speed. (See Nokia's CTO 'Quits'.)

For more
Here's a refresher on the twists and turns of the patent dispute between Apple and Nokia as well as a rundown of Nokia's most recent troubles.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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