Nokia won one of its numerous lawsuits against Daimler, with a regional court in Germany ruling the car maker must buy licences for a specific LTE connectivity technology already used in its vehicles.
The Regional Court of Mannheim backed Nokia’s argument the automotive company should pay it fees to use the technology adding Daimler had not been “seriously prepared or ready to conclude” an agreement on FRAND terms.
Daimler argued its suppliers incorporating the technology should be the ones to licence it, rather than car manufacturers themselves. It plans to appeal the latest decision.
Following the case president of Nokia Technologies Jenni Lukander said: “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 for the use of their inventions.
“We hope that Daimler will now accept its obligations and take a licence on fair terms. There is more to gain if we work together.”
The vendor noted it had agreements in place with several other automotive players including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mini, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen.
In a response, Daimler said it “did not understand the decision” and had “a different legal opinion on the question of how to licence patents in the automotive industry that are essential for telecommunications standards. Nokia has so far refused to licence our suppliers’ products directly”.
Three other complaints were filed to the same court referring to similar technologies, one has already gone in favour of Daimler and was dismissed earlier this year. Two are still pending.
In addition, Nokia has filed similar complaints to other legal authorities in Germany, while Daimler made its own legal bid to the European Commission in 2019.
Daimler said it expected decision would have no impact on production or sales.