Could Nokia Stop Mercedes From Selling Cars In Germany?

Sat 22nd Aug 2020

A bizarre court ruling in Germany could see one the country’s biggest car brands from selling cars after a former mobile phone giant won a patent case.

Finland’s Nokia mobile phone company may have had a seemingly large fall from grace in the past decade, but they are still a big player in terms of mobile phone technology and connectivity. So while we may all be using Apple and Samsung smartphones these days, some of the e-connectivity patents are still owned and licensed by Nokia, which will be a huge revenue stream for the company which once dominated the mobile phone market.

E-connectivity is becoming increasingly important within a car’s infotainment and communications systems, which is why Nokia’s patented technology is worth more than a billion euros a year to the Finnish company.

Mercedes had tried to argue in court that the patent should only be offered on an overall blanket license, however Nokia’s licensing model charges a fee per car produced and it is this argument which has seen the company’s at loggerheads. 

A German court this week favoured Nokia’s model and in effect, if Mercedes refuse to pay the licensing fee they will be banned from selling their cars in Germany with that technology.

"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,” said Jenni Lukander, president of Nokia Technologies. "We hope that Daimler will now accept its obligations and take a license on fair terms."