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[February 08, 2014]
Nokia and HTC sign patent agreement [Times of Oman]
(Times of Oman Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Washington: HTC and Nokia have agreed to collaborate after ending a patent-infringement dispute that could have resulted in the devices of Taiwan's largest smartphone maker being kept out of the US market.
HTC will pay royalties to Nokia to end the dispute, they said yesterday in a statement, without disclosing the financial terms of the settlement. Each company will gain access to the other's patented technology and will explore "future technology collaboration opportunities," they said. The US International Trade Commission (ITO) in Washington was scheduled to announce on February 10 whether it would issue an import ban on HTC devices.
Both Nokia and HTC have lost their lead positions in the mobile phone market. Patents will be one area of focus for Nokia after the former mobile-phone market leader agreed in September to sell its handset division to Microsoft. HTC is counting on an updated version of its One smartphone, its first wearable device and a renewed focus on marketing to help turn around the company after two straight annual declines in revenue.
"The win could be a useful benchmark" for Nokia, Kulbinder Garcha, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group, wrote in a note to clients. "The win positions Nokia well in the ongoing arbitration with Samsung to monetise IP beyond standard essential patents and implementation patents." The settlement and the patent agreement with Nokia has no material adverse impact on the finances of HTC, the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange today. The two companies said they have settled all pending patent litigation between them.
"The pact reduces one uncertainty for HTC," said Fu-li Chen, an analyst at Jih Sun Securities in Taipei. "The deal was expected and may not have a big impact on HTC's finances."Former leadersHTC is scheduled to hold an investor conference call on February 10 and release its January sales and first-quarter outlook statement.
Nokia, based at Espoo, Finland, was once the world's largest maker of mobile phones, only to see its title collapse as customers flocked to the design and technology advancements in Samsung Electronics and Apple devices. Sales of HTC, once the leading smartphone maker in the US, dropped 30 per cent last year.
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