Nokia Suspends Legal Action Against Daimler With Mediation Offer in Patent Row

Nokia, the Finnish Multinational Telecommunications and Consumer Electronics Company, has recently suspended legal action against the German carmaker Daimler with the hope that mediation will bring their dispute over the technology licensing fee to an end. Nevertheless, Daimler responded to this decision by Nokia in a cool way and iterated that the two companies had different legal opinions on the conflict.

Nokia’s pursuit of charges from Daimler has highlighted the wider fight amid tech companies and the automotive industry over royalties for tools and technologies needed for vehicle communications, navigation systems, and self-driving cars.

Daimler, along with Continental AG, Valeo, Thales-owned Gemalto, and Bury Technologies, complained to the European Commission (this year, i.e., 2019) about the fees demanded by Nokia from them for patents associated with car communications.

In recent years when Nokia has inaugurated ten (10) court cases against Daimler over Patent Infringement, Daimler has also declared lawsuits against Nokia.

Nokia, on 9th December 2019, said that constructive negotiation was the most suitable way to resolve such battles, emphasizing last week’s offered mediation as an effort to evade an EU antitrust investigation.

Nokia spokesperson Mark Durrant said that to make sure there is time for this recent mediation to be successful, they have decided to postpone the pending Court hearing to be held on 10th December in Germany. They have a belief that Daimler and its suppliers will now join them in these significant efforts to reach settlements. There is a lot more to gain for each if all work together, he added.

Daimler reiterated its previous stance and declined to comment on this move of Nokia. The German company said that they have a completely different opinion on how to license necessary and vital patents for communications standards in the car industry. The Carmaker added that Nokia has so far denied licensing their suppliers on a comprehensive basis.

Nevertheless, Margrethe Vestager – EU antitrust chief – welcomed the mediation efforts by Nokia. She said that the decision to postpone Court hearing was a positive move. That’s why they think it is good to attempt mediation at the International Chamber of Commerce, and it would be best if the parties could have a mutual understanding, she told reporters.

Nokia has also proposed mediation on licensing fees with several car parts makers rather than only Daimler.

Carmakers argued that instead of them, the car parts makers should look at the licensing fees and that patent holders must be open to negotiating with the companies interested in purchasing or using their patents.

Sources revealed that EU competition enforcers had been poised to investigate into this matter until Nokia made mediation offer.

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