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Apple & Nokia renew long-standing patent licensing agreement

There won't be a third round of legal battles over wireless technology between Apple and Nokia, as the pair have renewed their patent agreement that dated back to 2017.

The new patent deal between Nokia and Apple was signed with six months left to go in the 2017 arrangement. Nokia says that the agreement covers 5G technologies, but is mum about what specific intellectual properties are included.

"We are delighted to have concluded a long-term patent license agreement with Apple on an amicable basis," President of Nokia Technologies Jenni Lukander said in a statement. "The agreement reflects the strength of Nokia's patent portfolio, decades-long investments in R&D, and contributions to cellular standards and other technologies."

The terms of the deal are confidential for the moment. Nokia expects to recognize the revenue from the deal starting in January 2024.

The 2017 agreement was signed after legal saber-rattling for a year. In December 2016, it leveled a lawsuit against Nokia and nine patent holdings firms, claiming that non-practicing entities were working with Nokia to "extract and extort exorbitant revenues" from Apple and other manufacturers. As part of its opening legal volley, Apple said it would no longer pay Nokia royalties on IP used in products like the iPhone.

In response, Nokia sued Apple in 11 countries including Germany and the US, alleging violation of 32 patents related to video coding technology, chipsets, antennas, displays and more. Nokia later expanded its legal assault to 40 active suits worldwide, and sought to block US imports of alleged infringing devices.

The 2017 deal wasn't Apple's first with Nokia. Prior to being purchased by Microsoft, Nokia filed a number of lawsuits against Apple between 2009 and 2010 claiming infringement of patents covering GSM, camera subsystems and touch input, all key features of iPhone and iPad. Apple retaliated with a countersuit claiming violation of 13 patents.

To wind down that legal battle, the pair signed an omnibus deal in 2011.