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Wednesday, 22 August 2012 10:08

Nokia sits on a patent mine

Written by Nick Farrell



Better hope it doesn't go trolling

Mobile phone company Nokia might be suffering, but the big technology companies are hoping that it does not wake up to the fact it is sitting on a troll's gold mine.

Recently Nokia flexed its muscles and orderied Apple to pay Nokia a royalty fee for each iPhone sold. Logically it could clean up if it hit Google with something similar over its Android operating system. According to IP expert Florian Mueller, Nokia holds the most patents relating to the cutting-edge 4G/LTE technology.

This puts it in a position similar to what Microsoft had with its 2G/3G technology which allowed them to collect half of all the profits of each Android device sold. This gave Microsoft more than $3.2 billion per year so this indicates that Nokia will make triple this amount in the future. Nokia has sued HTC, RIM and View-sonic and their defence against Nokia is weak.

To make matters worse Nokia signed a 2010 cross-licensing agreement with Motorola which precludes Google from transferring the numerous patents it recently acquired from Motorola Mobility. This means that any protection that Google might have gained from owning Motorola Mobility are not counted. But this is only the tip of any iceburg and indicates how the entire mobile phone industry can be stuffed up by patents.

Recently a Google executive claimed that a standard smartphone contains more than 250,000 separate patented technologies. All of these have to be paid before a product can be released. What is worrying is that Nokia own a vast majority of this patented technology.

If Nokia's bet on Windows Phone 8  does not pay off, the former rubber boot maker will continue to make a lot of cash for a long time just leeching off other companies.

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