Settlement could mean Android is next target

Apple caves in Nokia legal battle

Apple and Nokia have settled an ongoing patent dispute which will see the firms bury their respective legal hatchets and Apple pay Nokia an undisclosed sum.

Well-known patent activist Florian Meuller patted himself on the back as his former prediction of an Apple Nokia settlement came true. "I think Apple will most likely end up paying a ‘Nokia tax’," Meuller said in May.

The settlement means Apple will pay Nokia a ‘one-time payment’ as well as ongoing licensing fees, or ‘Nokia tax’ as Meuller called it.

"We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees," said Nokia boss Stephen Elop. "This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."

With Apple embroiled in ongoing patent disputes with smartphone makers Motorola, HTC and Samsung, Meuller speculated the move ‘frees up resources’.

Meuller said that the settlement was significant in that it was a ‘proof of concept’ and that smartphone makers would need to ‘think very hard whether to pay or pick a fight’ when Nokia demands royalties.

Android was particularly vulnerable, Meuller claimed, dubbing Google’s smartphone OS a ‘rip-off’ of Apple’s iOS and therefore likely to be subject to the same patents Apple ultimately caved on.

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