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Nokia, RIM settle old disputes in new patent pact

HELSINKI -- Nokia Corp. and Canadian smartphone rival Research In Motion have agreed on a new patent licensing pact which will end all existing litigation between the two struggling companies, the Finnish firm said Friday.

The agreement includes a “one-time payment and on-going payments, all from RIM to Nokia,” Nokia said, but did not disclose “confidential” terms.

Last month, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) sued the Blackberry maker for breach of contract in Britain, the United States and Canada over cellular patents they agreed in 2003. RIM (Nasdaq: RIMM) claimed the license -- which covered patents on “standards-essential” technologies for mobile devices -- should also have covered patents for non-essential parts, but the Arbitration Institute of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce ruled against RIM's claims.

Major manufacturers of phones and wireless equipment are increasingly turning to patent litigation as they jockey for an edge to expand their share of the rapidly growing smartphone market.

Nokia is among leading patent holders in the wireless industry. It has already received a $565 million royalty payment from Apple Inc. to settle long-standing patent disputes and filed claims in the United States and Germany alleging that products from HTC Corp. and Viewsonic Corp. infringe a number of its patents.

The company says it has invested (euro) 45 billion ($60 billion) during the last 20 years in research and development and has one of the wireless industry's largest IPR portfolios claiming some 10,000 patent families.

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