A patent portfolio built from pioneering innovation
Nokia has been a leading innovator in telecommunications for more than thirty years, creating technologies that connect the world. Built from the efforts of our world-class researchers and engineers, we manage one of the broadest and strongest patent portfolios in the industry while continuously investing in the development of next generation connectivity and media technologies.
invested in R&D over the last two decades, including €4.4 billion in 2019 alone
patent families, of which over 3,400 declared essential for one or more cellular standards
patents filed on new inventions in 2019
Our continuous investment in R&D has resulted in our world-class technology patent portfolio
For more than 30 years, Nokia has defined many of the fundamental technologies used in virtually all mobile devices and taken a leadership role in standards setting.
Nokia has been a major contributor to every generation of standardized cellular technology and considered a leader in 5G standard essential patents (SEPs). Our cellular SEP portfolio is among the largest and most fundamental in the world, covering all major standards used by mobile devices. It has a global coverage including key markets, such as the US, Europe, and China, with patents and patent applications filed in close to 100 countries. Our patents are highly regarded in the industry and they are ranked in the top tier in many independent studies on essentiality.
Nokia has also played a leading role in developing non-cellular technologies that are used in practically every mobile device and in many other products, such as smart TVs, set-top-boxes, and PCs. These technologies span other standards such as wireless LAN (WLAN) and video coding technologies, including H.264, H.265 and H.266.
At the end of 2019, our portfolio stood at around 20,000 patent families, built on combined R&D investments of more than EUR 129 billion over the last two decades. We continue to refresh our portfolio from R&D activities across all Nokia businesses, filing patent applications on more than 1,300 new inventions in 2019.
Developing and contributing technologies to standardization requires significant resources, reflected by the enormous and continuing investments made by companies such as Nokia in R&D. Patent licensing also makes R&D investments in standardized technologies economically viable, as patent holders are fairly and adequately compensated for their inventions, which in turn enables innovators and contributors to the technology to continue to invest in developing for future standards.
Patents that are essential for implementing a standard (known as standard essential patents, or SEPs) are customarily made available under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. We conclude patent license agreements on FRAND terms, in accordance with our obligations towards standard development organizations.
Nokia is a respected and well-known licensor, with more than 30 years of experience of patent licensing, and we currently have around 200 licensees, licensed through our patent licensing programs.
Well-established patent licensing programs
Our SEP licensing program for mobile devices began when we were ourselves the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer. Operating this program for many years has given us extensive experience of FRAND licensing, as both a SEP holder and a licensee. Most of the major smartphone vendors have concluded patent license agreements with us.
Our licensing program for consumer electronics focuses on licensing our patent portfolios related to video coding technologies and our SEPs for WLAN.
Our automotive licensing program licenses connected vehicles, which contain technologies implementingone or more cellular standards and/or the WLAN standard. Nokia offers vehicle licenses to vehicle manufacturers bilaterally as well as through a licensing platform. Many automotive brands are already licensed to Nokia’s patents for their connected vehicles.
Internet of Things
Our licensing program for the Internet of Things (IoT) covers certain end-user devices in the IoT domain that implement one or more of the cellular standards and/or the WLAN standard, such as smart meters and payment terminals.