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A new alliance between Apple and Nokia born out of a lawsuit

Nokia was once the world’s largest seller of mobile phones. However, when Apple and Samsung began to gain prominence, if not a dominant share of the market, the Finnish telecommunications company found themselves no longer leading the pack.

Not content with having their devices outmuscled, Nokia reinvented itself by holding on to multiple patents for interfaces and mobile device widely used by both Android and Apple. What soon became a mainstay of the company’s annual revenue was closely and aggressively guarded.

Fast forward to December of 2016. Apple had accused Nokia of extortion and announced it would no longer pay for the company’s patents, many in Apple’s suite of products. Nokia responded by filing suit in the United States, Germany and nine other countries alleging 32 types of patent infringement. They accused Apple of using their technology in smartphones, tablets and other devices.

On Tuesday, Apple and Nokia announced that they had settled all litigation involving their almost six-month intellectual property dispute. The two companies also agreed to a multi-year patent license.

As part of the settlement, Nokia will receive a lump sum payment followed by additional revenue from a newly signed patent agreement. Apple will pay Nokia royalties from the second quarter of 2017.

Nokia “digital health products” will also make their debut in Apple stores. Both companies are currently strategizing possible collaboration on “digital health initiatives.”

Referred to as a “meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple,” in a statement posted by Maria Varsellona, Nokia's chief legal officer, it moves the relationship from courtroom adversaries to business allies working together to benefit all customers.

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