* RIM to pay one-time and ongoing fees, terms confidential
* Nokia one of industry's top patent holders
* Still in disputes with HTC, ViewSonic
HELSINKI, Dec 21 Struggling Finnish mobile phone
maker Nokia has settled its patent dispute with
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in return for
payments, as it tries to exploit its trove of technology patents
to boost its dire finances.
Terms of the agreement were confidential, but Nokia said on
Friday it included a one-time payment to be booked in the fourth
quarter, as well as ongoing fees, all to be paid by RIM.
Nokia is one of the industry's top patent holders, along
with Qualcomm and Ericsson, having invested
45 billion euros ($60 billion) in mobile research and
development over the past two decades.
It has been trying to make use of that legacy to ensure its
survival as it battles to recover ground lost in the lucrative
smartphone market to the likes of Apple and Samsung
With sales and cash reserves falling and its credit rating
cut to junk over the past year, Nokia in October announced a 750
million euros convertible bond to help fund its fightback.
The agreement with RIM settles all existing patent
litigation between the two companies, Nokia said, adding similar
disputes with HTC Corp and ViewSonic still stood.
"This agreement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent
portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing
opportunities in the mobile communications market," said Paul
Melin, Nokia's chief intellectual property officer.
Nokia has earned around 500 million euros a year from patent
royalties in key areas of mobile telephony.
Some analysts have said it could earn hundreds of millions
more if it can negotiate with more companies successfully.
They estimated its June 2011 settlement with Apple was worth
hundreds of millions of euros, but said the RIM agreement was
likely worth much less because of lower BlackBerry sales.
"Not hundreds of millions," said Martin Nilsson, analyst at
Handelsbanken, when asked for an estimate on the settlement. He
added the news was positive, if not surprising.
"More or less, when companies like Ericsson, Qualcomm or
Nokia go into negotiations, they end up net winners."
Nokia shares fell 3 percent to 3.07 euros by 1000 GMT. They
have been retreating in the past few sessions from their strong
surge of the past month.
They rose around 40 percent over the month through Tuesday
on speculation its new Lumia smartphones were selling well.
Analysts have warned the phones appeared sold out in many stores
as supplies were short to begin with.