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Apple pays off Nokia as all patent lawsuits dropped

Apple will hand over huge suitcases full of cash to Nokia, after the two companies agreed to settle their legal differences.

Apple has agreed to hand over a potentially massive wedge of cash to Nokia in a patent license agreement that will see the two companies drop all existing lawsuits against one another.

Apple will pay an unknown one-off fee to Nokia, followed by unspecified ongoing royalties for its use of various unmentioned Nokia-patented technologies. Don't you just love confidential agreements?

Early last year, Apple applied to the International Trade Commission seeking to have Nokia handsets banned from the US due to patent infringements. Nokia had previously raised much the same issue, claiming Apple had knocked off its intellectual property.

Interestingly (as legal stuff goes), the ITC last month decreed that Apple did not violate five of Nokia's patents. Nokia had suggested various technology found in the iPhone, including wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption, was based on its patents. Thanks to the secrecy surrounding the deal, we're not sure what Apple's paying for, but let's hope this tablet patent doesn't cause problems.

Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, said his company was "very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees." We're inclined to believe he was also jumping up and down, rubbing his hands together and shouting "cha-ching" as he realised his legal team may just have averted this year's profits disaster.

"This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry-leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market," he smirked.

Perhaps this agreement means you can concentrate on making those Windows Phones you promised us, Mr Elop.