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RIM writes Nokia a fat cheque as pair bury the patent hatchet

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Peace has broken out between patent battling firms Nokia and RIM: the pair have signed a technology licensing agreement that will kill off all litigation between them.

Nokia announced that, as part of the deal, it will take a one-off payment as well as ongoing payments from the BlackBerry biz, but it wouldn't reveal any details of just how much it was getting.

"We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM and reached this new agreement, while maintaining Nokia's ability to protect our unique product differentiation," Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia, said in a canned statement.

"This agreement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."

Nokia is suffering in the smartphone popularity stakes, but it has an enviable mobile technology patent portfolio compared to chart-topping newcomers in the market, namely Apple and Google. RIM is also pretty patently secure, but its once popular BlackBerry handsets have failed to hold on to their share of the market, and the firm has all its hopes pinned on its BlackBerry 10 launch.

Any ongoing patent infringement cases between RIM and Nokia are now over, and the firms have also withdrawn pending actions in the US, UK and Canada.

The agreement comes not long after Apple settled up its patent disputes with HTC, so this could be seen as the start of an outbreak of peace between all the warring firms, which would be nice since then they could get back to making useful gadgets.

Unfortunately, it's more likely that troubled RIM couldn't wriggle out of signing a settlement with Nokia after an arbitration tribunal ruled that RIM wasn't sticking to its part in a cross-licensing deal it made with Nokia ten years ago. ®

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