Microsoft-Nokia deal “levels the IP playing field” for US corporation

03 Sep, 2013

Microsoft has announced that it is acquiring part of Nokia’s mobile phone business for 5.4bn euros. In addition to acquiring essentially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services Business, Microsoft gains a licence to use Nokia’s patents. This arrangement will allow Nokia to maintain ownership of its patent portfolio while providing Microsoft with access to the intellectual property protected by its patents.


Mark Kenrick (pictured), Patent Attorney and Partner at Marks & Clerk, comments: “This deal again shows the huge value that the mobile telecoms sector places on patents. This is an industry that has seen many high-profile patent disputes, and companies realise that they need a robust portfolio of patents if they are to defend themselves and maintain or achieve greater market share.


“Microsoft has entered this sector relatively late, so gaining access to Nokia’s very established patent portfolio through a licensing deal makes real sense. Similar to Google’s tactic in purchasing Motorola Mobility, this will help Microsoft level the playing field with the rest of the sector. Microsoft also gains the benefit of Nokia’s earlier licensing agreement with Qualcom, which will provide it with access to an even wider pool of patent rights.


“This arrangement allows Nokia to retain its patent portfolio and provides Microsoft with a 10-year licence, with an option to extend it at a later date. That Nokia was not willing to give up its patents – but only to license them – indicates the value it attributes to its own intellectual property.”

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