Nokia has started legal actions against Amazon in the US, Germany, India, the UK and at the Unified Patent Court for the unauthorized use of Nokia’s video-related technologies in streaming services and devices.
Separately, Nokia filed cases in the US against HP.
In a blogpost, Arvin Patel, chief licensing officer new segments at Nokia, states that ‘Amazon Prime Video and Amazon’s streaming devices infringe a mix of Nokia’s multimedia patents covering multiple technologies including video compression, content delivery, content recommendation and aspects related to hardware.’
According to Patel, ‘litigation is never our first choice. The vast majority of our patent licensing agreements are agreed amicably. To put this into context, since 2017, we have concluded or extended over 250 licenses – including amicable licenses with Apple and Samsung – and launched just 6 litigation campaigns.’ He writes Nokia has been in discussion with both Amazon and HP for a number of years, ‘but sometimes litigation is the only way to respond to companies who choose not to play by the rules followed and respected by others’.
Patel points out that ‘Over-the-top (OTT) streaming is a huge growth market. In 2022, the global OTT streaming market generated almost $150 billion in revenue. This year it is expected to grow to more than $170 billion. And by 2027 the market is estimated to reach $300 billion. Yet, there’s a mismatch between those who invested in developing the technologies that underpin streaming services and those who benefit the most. For example, since 2000, Nokia has invested more than €140 billion (and over €4.5 billion last year alone) in R&D for cutting edge technologies including cellular and multimedia.’
These include ‘video compression technology that enables large data files to be shared across the internet. Without this technology it would not be possible to stream a High-Definition video or hold a video conference meeting.’ And the ‘development of all market-adopted video codecs (…). This technology is inside virtually every tablet, PC, smart TV, smartphone, and any other device that plays video, for example cameras, security systems, and video doorbells. (…)’
‘Companies providing video streaming services or streaming devices, enjoy huge benefits from the research and development conducted by Nokia and other innovators – without it their services and products would simply not work the way that consumers have come to expect. Nokia is seeking compensation for the use of these key inventions, royalties which we will reinvest, along with substantial amounts of additional investment, in the development of next generation multimedia technology. It is a virtuous circle, a wheel that has been turning for many years, powering innovation.’