The epic patent battle between Apple and Nokia has finally come to a close. Nokia this morning announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Apple and that all the trials currently taking place in various countries are to be terminated immediately, along with both parties retracting their complaints filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission. The specific terms of the agreement are confidential, but what we do know is that Apple is going to write Nokia one big fat check and then start wiring money over to Finland on an ongoing basis. “We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees. This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.” — Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia. The Finnish handset maker is also saying that the result of this agreement will have a positive impact on their Q2 2011 financial results, due to be published in roughly 5 weeks.
We’re thrilled that this thing is over, not because we were rooting for either side, but because writing about patents is about as fun as watching grass grow. We’ve said it time and again that ideas in the industry are worth squat, it’s whoever has the best implementation of an idea that ends up the victor. Some of you may disagree with that, and you’re entitled to your opinion, but we can’t help but feel that this industry would be a lot farther ahead if companies didn’t have to keep an army of lawyers at their disposal, ready to deploy whenever something even remotely similar to one of their products is released.
Now we just have to see where the Apple and Samsung case is going to lead. Hopefully this madness will end soon.