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Oppo Says Phone Maker Is Ready to Comply With Chinese Court on Nokia Patent Fees

IPR Daily

2023-12-07 18:36:56

Oppo Mobile Telecommunications said the major Chinese smartphone maker is willing to abide by a recent court decision in China that it should pay global patent royalties to Nokia and hopes the Finnish telecoms giant will also comply with the ruling.

“Oppo is willing to comply with and execute the court's decision regarding the global FRAND licensing fees for Nokia's patents, hoping to actively resolve the patent licensing fee dispute with Nokia,”it said in a statement dated Dec. 4.

“Oppo is hoping Nokia can also comply with and execute the Chongqing court’s decision,” the Dongguan-based company added.

The Chongqing First Intermediate People's Court has not yet disclosed its first-instance ruling online in the case of Oppo vs. Nokia.

The two companies have been locked in legal battles since July 2021 as they failed to agree on new FRAND licensing fees for Nokia’s 5G patents. Nokia has sued Oppo in more than 10 countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Finland, with mixed results.

The standard for charging patent fees is a major focus of dispute between the two. Nokia has said that Oppo rejected its fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory asking prices when negotiating patent licensing renewals. Oppo claimed Nokia’s proposed standard was unreasonable.

The two even disputed whether the Chongqing court had the right to hear the case, when Oppo initiated it in 2021. Nokia subsequently raised objections to the court’s jurisdiction. After the court rejected its objections, Nokia appealed to the intellectual property court of China’s Supreme People's Court, which handed down a final ruling in 2022, dismissing Nokia's appeal.

Shipments Impact

The patent fee dispute has impacted Oppo’s overseas business development. Its shipments to Europe more than halved in the second quarter from a year ago, according to Counterpoint. The lawsuit may also have impacted sales in western European markets such as the UK, in addition to Germany, a company insider told Yicai.

But Oppo is not alone in its desire to solve the dispute as soon as possible. Jenni Lukander, president of Nokia Technologies, said in a media interview this March that the Finnish company also hopes to quickly resolve long-standing patent disputes with Chinese smartphone producers, including Oppo.

Patent lawsuits have hindered Chinese phone exports to some extent, Gao Shiwang, general director and spokesperson at the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, told Yicai. 

Though Chinese manufacturers have innovated a lot of new technologies, they still face some standard essential patents that are relatively pricey, he said. Before going overseas, cellphone makers need to assess these potential costs, Gao added.

Nokia is no longer a mainstream handset maker, but its related patent licensing business still brings in much revenue. Last year’s EUR1.6 billion (USD1.7 billion) accounted for 6.4 percent of its entire income, with a profit margin of 99.7 percent.

Source: yicaiglobal.com - Tang Shihua

Editor: IPR Daily-Horace

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