Daimler and Nokia resolve technology licensing dispute

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Daimler has agreed to purchase 3G and 4G licenses directly from Nokia, ending a long-standing intellectual property dispute that may force the German group to suspend the production and sales of its cars and trucks.

The Mercedes-Benz manufacturer has been sued in several courts in Germany for refusing to purchase a license for technology that connects car navigation and entertainment systems to the Internet and supports semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

Although competitors such as Volkswagen have already purchased licenses, the high-end manufacturer hesitated about costs. Instead, it argued that Nokia should issue licenses to suppliers such as mainland China and Bosch, who have manufactured remote devices equipped with interconnected technologies. Information processing control unit.

In a legal document last year, Nokia insisted that it offered Daimler a fair license price and had the right to recover the billions of euros used to develop its invention.

A series of Last year’s verdict Against Daimler, if enforced, it may prevent manufacturers from manufacturing or selling cars equipped with Nokia’s patented technology. But Nokia chose not to pay billions of euros in bonds to enforce the ban, and then hear appeals from the verdict later this year, including appeals to the European Court of Justice.

Daimler’s decision to resolve the case ended all legal proceedings between the two companies.

“This agreement is a very important milestone that once again validates the quality of our patent portfolio, Nokia’s R&D contribution to the connected car industry, and the growth opportunities of our car licensing program,” said Jenni Lukander, president of the company. Nokia technology.

Daimler, which has a large manufacturing base in Germany, said in a statement: “We welcome reconciliation-from an economic point of view, because we have avoided lengthy judicial disputes.”

Neither party disclosed the financial terms of the agreement.

Nokia still faces a separate legal battle with Continental in the US courts.

The Dax-listed supplier joined Bosch in supporting Daimler’s case in a German court and also filed a complaint with the European Commission, saying that Nokia is abusing its dominant market position.

Nokia prefers to authorize the final product rather than the component manufacturer, claiming that it “always provides a fair price for authorization, provides a series of flexible methods-directly to car manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, and through the collective licensing pool Other players in the industry”.

However, Continental insists that these offers are unfair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. “Nokia had promised to grant licenses to anyone, but they did not comply with this promise,” said a person close to the company.

As so-called “over-the-air” updates of automotive software become more and more important, German parts manufacturers worry that Daimler’s settlement may provide a worrying precedent that may undermine the competitiveness of companies in Europe’s largest economy.

These companies also sell connected devices, hoping to provide fully licensed products to their customers.

The person added: “Even if the party being sued does not produce the product and has not obtained a license, the German courts tend to issue an injunction.”

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