I recently wrote a blog post entitled Apple Sues Samsung for Patent Infringement: Yawn in which I expressed my lack of interest in the patent disputes between smartphone makers that get so much undeserved attention in the press. In that post, I pointed out that despite attempts to hype these up as something important, they are always quietly settled without fanfare.
Today we have a case in point — Nokia and Apple have announced that they have settled their patent dispute. If you’re keeping score, Nokia won, as Apple will be licensing its patents. Today’s statement says, in part:
The financial structure of the agreement consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple and on-going royalties to be paid by Apple to Nokia for the term of the agreement. The specific terms of the contract are confidential.
There you go, all the raw drama of a dispute that some had tried to build up into a modern day clash of the smartphone titans. Be still my beating heart.
Please keep this example in mind the next time you read an article about Company X suing Company Y over infringing on its patents. These things happen all the time, and they are always settled. Sometimes money changes hands, sometimes the companies agree to license each other’s patents without anyone having to pay a fee. There’s never any drama, no companies are ever driven out of business, no products are pulled off the shelves.
There’s nothing to see here. Move along, please.