Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) has appealed for an injunction to block Lenovo sales in Germany over patent licensing. The finish company had launched a legal battle against the PC maker last year regarding violation of video encoding patent.
Lenovo infringed Nokia’s video encoding patent
On September 30, a Munich court ruled that Lenovo had infringed Nokia’s patents and ordered a ban on products using Nokia’s video-compression technology. Nokia now seeks to enforce the injunction that covers Lenovo laptops, tablets, and PCs. Nokia had sued Lenovo over an unpaid license for using patents related to the H.264 video codec.
In a statement, Nokia said that legal action was not a preferred alternative, but Lenovo had refused to enter into a negotiation over the patent violation. This is despite it being clear that the PC manufacturer had illegally used Nokia’s patented tech. The company indicated that it is open to resolving the matter with Lenovo through out of court negotiations. Nokia had launched a legal battle last year against the company for infringement of 20 of its patents.
The company also has other cases in Brazil, India, and the US against Lenovo and an additional six cases in Germany. The US International Trade Commission is probing a complaint from Nokia to block Lenovo imports.
Nokia has a strategy of collecting license fees from retail product manufacturers instead of makers of individual components. Interestingly even the automobile sector is a target with Daimler AG in a legal battle with the company.
Lenovo appealing the Munich ruling
However, Lenovo has appealed to the Munich ruling stating that Nokia had refused to license its IP on non-discriminatory and fair terms often referred to as FRAND terms. Lenovo claims that the former phone maker has been unwilling to license the tech to them or its third party suppliers that require the tech. In a statement, Lenovo said that having standardized tech in FRAND terms is important for the future of the tech industry globally and the growth of affordable innovation to customers. However, the licensing practices of the Finnish company threaten this access.