South Korea: Market braces for Nokia’s evolution to patent troll

As South Korean officials review Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset operations, reports say earlier predictions that the rest of the Nokia business will evolve into a patent troll are likely to come true.

According to one unnamed official at Samsung, Nokia has been demanding high patent licensing fees from its rivals; another unnamed source echoed the sentiment, telling reporters that “Nokia has recently been demanding that Samsung and LG Electronics pay a large amount of patent fees.”

The official at Samsung confirmed that the company is now negotiating with Nokia over its “large sum of patent royalties” it demanded of Samsung.

According to reports, experts had predicted that Finland-based Nokia would likely become a patent troll, also known as a Non-Practicing Entity, and gear its business towards making money through the intellectual property rights it owns, especially after it divested its handset operations to Microsoft for $7.2 billion last year.

As part of that takeover, Microsoft reportedly allowed Nokia to retain its patent rights for the next 10 years without actually making any mobile phones.

The majority of Nokia’s smartphone patents, say reports, are standard essential.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission was earlier asked by a smaller electronics firm to investigate the deal based on fears that patent licensing fees would rise following the transaction. Now, say reports, the industry is calling for the KFTC to demand concessions from Nokia is exchange for approving the merger, and that those concessions involve stricter conditions on Nokia’s patent licensing practices. The merger review is ongoing.

Full content: Business Korea

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