Nokia seeks compensation for Amazon’s use of our patented multimedia inventions
Today, we have commenced legal action against Amazon for the unauthorized use of Nokia’s video-related technologies in its streaming services and devices. Cases have been filed in the US, Germany, India, the UK, and the European Unified Patent Court.
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.
Separately, we have also filed cases in the US against HP for the unauthorized use of Nokia’s patented video-related technologies in their devices.
Litigation is never our first choice
I want to stress that 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. We’ve been in discussions with each of 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. And let’s be clear: Amazon and HP benefit significantly from Nokia’s multimedia inventions.
Entire industries are powered by our technology
It’s no secret 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. As a result, we hold one of the world’s strongest patent portfolios of connectivity and multimedia technologies - and it is no exaggeration to say that entire industries are powered by these inventions.
Here are some examples of where Nokia has paved the way.
From video compression to recommending your next favorite show
Since the early 1990’s, Nokia has been a leader in the development of video technologies, including 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.
Nokia’s inventors have been heavily involved in the development of all market-adopted video codecs, from the H.264/Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard in the early 2000s to the H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard completed in 2020. Each of these generations of codecs have halved the bitrate required compared to their predecessor without compromising picture quality. 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.
But that’s not nearly all. Did you know, for example, that content optimization on your device’s screen when switching between portrait and landscape video is a Nokia invention? And fast forwarding or rewinding a video by scrolling through it, while simultaneously displaying the current scene, was also invented by Nokia. As were many technologies that enable personalization of content recommendation.
And this is just scratching the surface. With over 30 years of research and innovation, Nokia’s multimedia assets include key technologies related to video processing, coding, storage, display, user interface, and much more. So far, our work in this area has earned five Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards.
Compensation and incentives for innovators
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.
As I mentioned above, litigation is never our first choice. Our preference is to reach amicable agreements with the companies who rely upon our technology, and our door remains open for constructive, good-faith negotiations.