Nokia and Samsung sign multimedia patent deal

The deal will make it easier for Samsung to experiment with cutting-edge research

Nokia and Samsung have announced a strategic agreement that will allow the South Korean tech giant to make use of innovations in video standards.

Although the terms of the agreement, including its financial details, are to remain confidential between the two tech giants, Samsung is expected to make royalty payments to Nokia in exchange for a licence to use new patents.

At the moment, it’s unclear as to what kind of technology Samsung is planning to develop using Nokia’s impressive patent portfolio. The Finnish telecoms company has been a major contributor to multimedia and video research for the last three decades and has invested €129 billion into research & development (R&D) since 1990. During this time, it has composed an estimated 20,000 patent families, out of which at least 3,500 are deemed essential to 5G technology.

Nokia Technologies president Jenni Lukande said that the company is “delighted to have reached an agreement with Samsung”, adding that it “further validates Nokia’s decades-long investments to R&D and contributions to multimedia and video technology standards”.

The announcement of the deal follows Samsung’s recent legal disputes with Ericsson which, in December of last year, sued Samsung for allegedly infringing upon its mobile phone patents. The complaint was originally filed with the United States International Trade Commission but just weeks later the lawsuit was taken to courts in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

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In the past, Samsung had also been accused of infringing Apple patents in the manufacturing of its Captivate, Transform, and Fascinate smartphones, as well as the Galaxy Tablet. In an October 2012 preliminary ruling, a US trade panel judge found that the Korean tech giant had indeed infringed the four Apple patents. However, only a day earlier, a Dutch court had ruled the opposite. The case was then taken to the US Supreme Court, which in 2016 sided with Samsung.

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