Daimler loses latest court battle with Nokia over mobile tech
Nokia could force stop-sale with $11b collateral
Mercedes-Benz could end up having trouble selling cars after a German court has ruled Benz owner Daimler violated patents held by Nokia, according to a new report.
Judges in Mannheim said today that Daimler was in violation of Nokia’s mobile technology patents, reports Bloomberg. The court battle between Nokia Oyj and Daimler has been ongoing for a number of years. Nokia has sued Daimler in three German courts, with one dismissed and two other cases stayed awaiting a ruling on their validity. More suits are pending in Munich and Dusseldorf courts.
The report says Finnish Nokia wants Daimler to pay royalties by the car, but Daimler says that would be too expensive. The automaker argues it wants suppliers to get the license for the equipment that lets mobile devices integrate with vehicles, and that Daimler would pay those suppliers.
“The facts show that Daimler and its supporters in the case aren’t willing to take a license,” the court said in a statement. The court said it sided with Nokia because Daimler wasn’t prepared to play by existing rules for what are called “standard essential patents.”
As a result, Nokia could potentially stop Daimler from selling vehicles in Germany, though they would need to post 7 billion euros as collateral (CAD 11b). Daimler said it didn’t expect Nokia to follow through on that.
“Today’s finding is a major endorsement of the long-term engineering work by innovators at Nokia and the important principle that innovators should receive a fair reward,” Jenni Lukander, president of Nokia Technologies, said in a statement. “We hope that Daimler will now accept its obligations and take a license on fair terms.”
Daimler told Bloomberg in an emailed statement that “we cannot understand the verdict of the Mannheim court and will appeal.”