Nokia/Apple Kiss, Make Up Over Mobile Patent Suit
In a move that will surprise few folks, Apple (news, site) and Nokia have settled out of court over their ITC patent-flinging argument, with Nokia winning license payments from Apple.

Better In Than Out

Rather than airing their dirty laundry in the view of a public court, Apple and Nokia have done what most mobile companies do these days and signed a deal out of court. In the deal, which remains a secret, Apple will license various Nokia mobile patents in return for undisclosed sums, which will go some way to shoring up Nokia's plunging balance sheet.

UPPDATE - According to sources talking to Business Insider, Apple is paying $715 million up front, around $145 million this year and around $50 million a quarter onward for the requisite IP behind the law suits. Apple has the money to spare with its huge multi-billion cash pile, so probably won't need to hike prices at all.

This leaves Nokia in a prime position to go after other mobile makers as well, and will help add value to the company's mobile division, if it is to be sold. Apple, in the meantime, gets 18 months of litigation out the way, and can go on about its business as usual, focusing on iOS5 and beyond. Nokia upped its campaign back in March, alleging that Apple infringes additional Nokia patents in "virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets and computers."

Learning Opportunities


Many Wars Still to be Fought

But, in the mobile world where every player is suing pretty much every other player, things won't remain calm for long. Microsoft is already after several Android makers and Nokia could well follow in a two-pronged assault from the newly-minted allies. See TheNextWeb's great infographic on this, in a fine example of a picture is worth a thousand words.

Microsoft and Nokia have an impressive lineup of Windows Phone 7 devices in the pipe and could benefit from a market shakeup with the upcoming Windows 8. This, and a hefty patent portfolio, could see the two giants come from behind, boosted by money raked in from their rivals, if the lawsuits or settlements go their way.