Chongqing court rules OPPO needs to pay Nokia for using 5G patents

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Written By Maya Cantina

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A court in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality has ruled the cumulative rates of charging patent fees for 5G phones are between 4.341-5.273 percent, marking the first-ever ruling by a Chinese court that confirmed the royalty rates of 5G essential standard patents for mobile devices, according to media reports on Thursday. 

The Chongqing First Intermediate People’s Court recently issued a first-instance ruling on the patent fee dispute between OPPO and Nokia, and the ruling confirmed the fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory rates for Nokia’s 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G essential standard patents worldwide, guancha.cn reported on Thursday. 

In addition to defining the rates, the court also issued license fee awards for Nokia’s 2G-5G patent packages in different regions. 

Over the past few years, there have been continuous disputes between cellphone makers and telecom equipment manufacturers over issues related to the essential standard patents.  

The ruling issued by the Chongqing court will provide jurisprudence for similar disputes in the future, while offering references for involved industries and associated sectors, such as the Internet of Things, on issues related to 5G patent fees, according to the report by guancha.cn. 

Based on the ruling which defined the 4.341-5.273 percent rate, the maximum 5G patent fee for a $200 phone will be $10.55 without considering the multi-mode system share, which will alleviate the cost pressure of cellphone manufacturers. 

OPPO said in a statement on December 4 that the company welcomes the ruling by the Chongqing First Intermediate People’s Court in the dispute over FRAND royalties for Nokia’s essential standard patents. OPPO is willing to comply with and implement the court’s ruling regarding the global FRAND licensing fees for Nokia’s patents, hoping to actively resolve the patent licensing dispute with Nokia.

Nokia said the court ruling shows that OPPO is obliged to pay royalties to Nokia and that the fees to be paid by OPPO will cover the entire unauthorized period, according to media reports. 

OPPO and Nokia have been engaged in legal back and forth since July 2021 after failing to agree on new FRAND licensing fees for Nokia’s 5G patents, Yicai.com reported on December 6. Nokia has sued OPPO in more than 10 countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Finland, with mixed results, said the report.

Global Times

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