In April 2004, Nokia's patent department asked industry CTO's to support a “balanced Common position” that would have ended the EU's exclusion of software patents. Nokia made this broad statement:
All of Europe's innovators, including individual inventors, small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), as well as large multinational companies, require patents to protect their inventions, provide incentives to undertake research and development in Europe, and to promote licensing and technology transfer.
“All of Europe's innovators require patents”. Oh dear. That does sound a bit arrogant. The kind of hubris that seems to invite the wrath of the gods, if one believes in karma and that sort of thing.
Well, no worries. What goes around comes around, as Reuters reports:
Nokia, which makes more than one in three of the cell phones sold globally, is mired in a legal dispute over patents with U.S. mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm Inc. after part of a major cross-licensing agreement expired last month.
The legal dispute centers on Nokia's use of Qualcomm patents for 3G, but it also has a bearing on Qualcomm's chips business, which according to Nokia uses many Nokia-patented technologies.
"We are in negotiations but there's no agreement," Ojanpera told a news conference at the Seoul Digital Forum event.
Nokia last week filed its first patent counter-suit against Qualcomm, seeking damages and an injunction against Qualcomm chips. Analysts estimate Nokia has paid Qualcomm around $500 million per year and now aims to get a better deal.
$500 million a year? Not bad. I really hope Nokia got a good technology transfer for their money.