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Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Nokia Sues Vivo & Oppo Over Patents in Indonesia

The 2000s king of cellphone, Nokia, has returned to tech news cycles, though not because of a product launch, but rather for IP related disputes. Reports have emerged that the Finnish company has sued Vivo Mobile Indonesia over patents concerning “Additional Modulation Information Signaling for High Speed Downlink Packet Access”

The suit launched by Nokia claimed that Vivo has released products which implemented HSDPA with 64QAM support (a feature of HSPA+ commonly indicated with H+ symbols in phones) thus infringing on patents owned by Nokia. Therefore, Nokia demands that Vivo pay 597,5 billion Rupiah in damages and stop the production and sale of said products.

This case is only one of various patent-related lawsuits involving Nokia in recent times. Last year, Nokia filed several lawsuits against Bright Mobile Telecommunication and PT Selalu Bahagia Bersama regarding Oppo and Realme phones. The content of these lawsuits is more or less similar to the lawsuits filed against Vivo, only differing in the subject of the patent being infringed. The first two lawsuits allege that Oppo has infringed on the patent on “Additional Modulation Information Signaling For High-Speed ??Descent-Linked Packet Access”, and others involved “Methods and Equipment for Conveying Antenna Configuration Information Through Masking.” Each lawsuit ordered the defendant to stop the production of the products which were deemed to contain Nokia’s patents and to pay compensation of Rp. 597 billion.

The heart of this case is the licensing agreement between Nokia and Oppo on patents held by Nokia. Nokia claimed that they had offered Oppo to renew the agreement, but Oppo rejected the offer thus compelling Nokia to go down the litigation route.


Nokia and Licensing

These lawsuits amply portray the current state of Nokia. Having somewhat faded after failing to compete in the smartphone market, Nokia now utilizes licensing to help rebuild their name. Last year, Nokia was reported to have amassed a whopping 1.3 billion euros from licensing.

Nokia’s licensing do not only concern the use of their patents by smartphone products such as Oppo, but it has now branched out of the phone industry, extending to TVs, CCTV and even cars. Brand licensing is also something Nokia is involved in. The “Nokia” name is now licensed to a variety of different companies such as HMD Global for smartphones, Flipkart for Smart TVs and others.

Furthermore, Nokia is also the record holder of most patents held concerning 5G technologies, with a number reaching around 3500 patents. According to lightreading, this is also a factor behind Nokia’s case with Oppo. The two companies reportedly had a licensing deal that ended in 2018. Nokia tried to renew said licensing that would also cover 5G, but Oppo refused.

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