Daimler agreed to buy the 3G and 4G licenses directly from Nokia, ending a long -running intellectual property dispute that could force the German group to suspend the manufacture and sale of its cars and trucks.
The maker of Mercedes-Benz has been indicted in several German courts for refusing to purchase licenses for technology that connects internet navigation and entertainment systems to the internet and relying on semi-autonomous capabilities. to drive.
While rivals like VW bought licenses, the premium manufacturer sold at cost, arguing that Nokia should license providers like Continental and Bosch, which build telematic control units where connected technologies are installed.
Upon its legal submission last year, Nokia continued to offer Daimler a fair price for the licenses and was entitled to recover the billions of euros spent on developing its inventions.
A series of judgment last year opposed to Daimler which, if implemented, would prevent the manufacturer from building or selling cars with tech equipment that rely on Nokia patents. But Nokia has chosen not to pay billions of euros in bonds to enforce an order before appeals against the judges are heard later this year, including a referral to the EU Court of Justice. .
Daimler’s decision to settle the case ended all legal settlements between the two companies.
“The agreement is a major milestone that testifies, once again, the quality of our patent portfolio, Nokia’s R&D contribution to the connected automotive industry, and growth opportunities for our auto licensing program, “said Jenni Lukander, a president of Nokia Technologies.
In a one-line statement, Daimler, which has a large German manufacturing base, said: “We are happy with the settlement-from an economic point of view and because we have avoided protracted jury disputes.”
Neither party disclosed the financial terms of the agreement.
Nokia is still facing a separate Continental legal battle in U.S. courts.
The Dax -listed supplier, along with Bosch’s support of Daimler’s case in German courts, has also filed a complaint with the European Commission, arguing that Nokia has abused its leading position in the market.
Nokia, which has chosen to license the end-product rather than manufacturer components, says it “continues to make fair offers for licensing, providing a range of ways that can be activated. – directly to cars, to tier-1 supporters and through a collective licensing pool alongside other industry players ”.
However, Continental maintains that these offers are unfair, unreasonable and non -discriminatory. “Nokia has made a promise to license anyone, but they haven’t kept that promise,” said someone close to the company.
With so-called “over the air” auto software updates becoming more important, German parts makers are concerned that Daimler’s settlement could provide a worrying pattern that could damage competing with companies in most European economies.
The companies, which also sell connection devices, want to offer a fully licensed product to their customers.
“German courts have a tendency to issue orders even if the accused party does not make the product, and is not licensed,” the man added.