Nokia suspends legal action against Daimler in the hope of mediation

Daimler

Nokia has suspended legal action against Daimler in the hope that mediation will fix their dispute over technology licensing fees.

The decision drew a positive response from the German automaker, which reiterated that the two firms had differing legal views on the dispute.

Nokia’s pursuit of charges from Daimler has thrown a spotlight on the broader battle between tech firms and the auto industry over royalties for technologies important for navigation systems, vehicle communications, and self-driving cars.

Daimler, together with Bury Technologies, Continental, Valeo, and Thales-owned Gemalto complained to the European Commission this year regarding fees demanded by Nokia for patents associated with car communications.

Nokia has in recent times initiated 10 court cases against Daimler in Germany for alleged patent infringements. Daimler, on the other hand, has issued its own lawsuits against Nokia.

Nokia stated on Monday that constructive negotiation was the ideal way to fix concerns, having offered in the earlier week to enter into independent mediation as part of efforts to prevent an EU antitrust investigation.

“To make sure there is time for this mediation to be successful, we have unilaterally chosen to postpone the pending hearing on 10 December in Germany,” Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant stated.

“We trust that Daimler and its tier 1 suppliers will now engage in these meaningful efforts to reach settlement. There is more to gain for all if we work together.”

Daimler refused to comment on Nokia’s move, reiterating its earlier stance.

“We have a different legal opinion on the question of how to license essential patents for telecommunications standards in the automotive industry. Nokia has so far rejected to license our suppliers directly on a comprehensive basis,” the German automaker stated.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has nonetheless welcomed the mediation efforts, saying the postponement of the court hearing was an optimistic move.

Nokia has also sought to negotiate with the auto parts makers instead of only Daimler on licensing fees.

Automakers argue that auto parts makers should deal with the licensing fees instead of them and that patent holders should be open to negotiations with any company that is interested in using their patents.

Sources had informed Reuters that EU competition enforcers had been poised to carry out an investigation into the issue until Nokia made the mediation offer.

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