Nokia could ban Mercedes from selling cars in Germany

Daimler loses a major court case against telecommunications giant Nokia.

After a long-running fight between major multinational companies Daimler and Nokia, a German court in Mannheim has produced a verdict for the dispute.

Daimler was accused of violating Nokia’s mobile-technology patents by using the technology in Mercedes-Benz connected cars without authorisation, and the court’s decision to favour the telecommunications company marks what Nokia believes will be a significant step towards endorsing “long-term engineering work by innovators at Nokia and the important principle that innovators should receive a fair reward for the use of their inventions.”

The court sided with Nokia, ruling that Daimler was not compliant with intellectual property law, and was remained unwilling to sign a license deal for the cellular technology used to connect Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Daimler however was not happy with the decision, stating in an email that “we cannot understand the verdict of the Mannheim court and will appeal [the decision]”.

Nokia seeks royalties for each individual car sold through its licensing program, however Daimler continues to argue that the fees are too high – and thus would prefer Nokia to send licences to Daimler’s suppliers. Nokia counteracts this proposition by stating that many other car manufacturers are adept with the current licensing plan, as Volkswagen and BMW Groups are already onboard with the program.

So what does this mean for Daimler?

The patented technology is crucial for Mercedes-Benz connected cars, so Daimler must continue to pursue a court case victory or accept the licensing deal. The pursuit winning is evident as the automotive corp has already filed a lawsuit in a different court to nullify Nokia’s patents.

Following Nokia’s major victory, the telecommunications corporation is in a dominant position where they have the power terminate the sales of Mercedes vehicles in Germany, however they are not likely to pursue this as it would require the company to post collateral of 7 billion Euros (11.5 billion AUD) in a separate lawsuit.

The more likely outcome is for Daimler to agree to Nokia’s previous licensing deal and paying loyalties for each individual vehicle, however the repercussions of this would be felt by Daimler and their suppliers, as every single vehicle that is sold under the Mercedes marque relies on Nokia’s cellular technology.


AutoNews Australia

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