Nokia wins patent battle against Lenovo in Germany

sanjay goel

Nokia has won an injunction against Lenovo in Germany that can be enforced against a collateral of EUR3.25 million, meaning that Nokia can ban and retract Lenovo products in Germany.

The battle began a year ago with Nokia claiming that the Chinese tech giant is infringing over 20 patents related to H.264 video codec and that Lenovo refuses to negotiate in good faith for a license.

Specialized site focused on legal battles involving tech companies, FossPatents reports that the win in Germany means that Nokia can ask the German authorities to ban sales of Lenovo products that infringe Nokia’s patents against a small security amount of just EUR3.25 million.

In comparison, in Nokia’s legal battle with Daimler the collateral for Daimler products ban in Germany was set to EUR7 billion.

While responding to the ruling, Lenovo said in a statement that the company will file an appeal.

Lenovo’s official statement on the Munich ruling: “We do not agree with the decision by the Munich Court and will be appealing the ruling. In particular, we believe Nokia has violated its own legal obligations by refusing to license its technology on Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms to either Lenovo or our third-party suppliers whose parts include H.264 technology. As a major patent holder around the world Lenovo has the utmost respect for the work and investment that goes into innovating. We believe the availability of standardized technologies on FRAND terms is critical for the future of the global tech industry and the proliferation of affordable innovation to customers around the world, and that Nokia’s licensing practices threaten this access.”

Just last month, a different panel of Munich judges ordered a Germany-wide Mercedes sales ban over a Sharp patent declared essential to cellular telecommunications standards, requiring collateral (for enforcement during an appeal, again unless the appeals court were to order a stay) of only €5.5 million (approximately $6.5 million). Another month earlier (i.e., August), the Mannheim Regional Court enjoined Daimler of a Nokia wireless SEP, but held that collateral to the tune of €7 billion ($8.2 billion) would be needed for enforcement during the appeal–and Nokia can’t enforce that injunction now as the appeals court is weighing a stay and didn’t want any enforcement to occur for the time being.

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