Finnish telecommunications company Nokia has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Amazon and HP in the United States and multiple other countries, accusing the tech giants of violating its intellectual property related to video streaming compression and delivery.
The legal action underscores Nokia’s determination to enforce its extensive patent portfolio even against the world’s largest corporations.
Lawsuit Filed in Delaware Federal Court
On Tuesday, November 1st, 2023, Nokia announced it has sued Amazon and its subsidiaries Amazon.com and Twitch, as well as HP, in federal court in Delaware.
The lawsuit alleges that Amazon’s Prime Video service, Twitch live streaming platform, and HP computers and laptops infringe upon Nokia’s patents covering video compression, encoding, decoding and streaming over IP networks.
Specifically, Nokia states that Amazon and HP are violating patents related to the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard used for streaming high definition video with reduced bandwidth and storage requirements. While many companies have licensed Nokia’s essential HEVC patents, Amazon and HP have allegedly refused to do so.
Nokia accuses the companies of knowingly using its proprietary inventions without permission or compensation to enable more efficient video streaming on their platforms and devices. The lawsuits seek undisclosed monetary damages and court orders halting further infringement.
Similar Lawsuits Filed in Multiple Countries
Alongside the Delaware lawsuit, Nokia revealed it has also taken legal action against Amazon over the same issues in Germany, UK, India and with the Unified Patent Court in Europe.
“We hope that Amazon and HP will now accept their obligations and agree to a license, and our door remains open for good faith negotiations,” Nokia stated.
Nokia’s Massive Patent Portfolio
The legal measures underscore Nokia’s determination to monetize its vast patent portfolio of around 20,000 patent families following its strategic shift away from mobile device manufacturing.
The company says over 140 billion euros has been invested in research and development over decades to build its intellectual property.
Earlier this year, Nokia entered a patent licensing deal with Apple, further demonstrating its capacity and willingness to license patents to the largest tech firms. Multiple experts said the Apple deal highlights the immense value of Nokia’s patents.
Transition From Cell Phones to R&D and Licensing
During the 2000s and early 2010s, Nokia was the world’s biggest mobile and smartphone maker. However, it struggled to compete with the rise of iOS and Android devices from Apple and Samsung.
In recent years, the Finnish company has focused on licensing its patents and developing enterprise network infrastructure and wireless technologies used by communication service providers. Revenue from patent licensing has become a major part of Nokia’s business model.
Amazon and HP Response Awaited
Amazon and HP are yet to comment publicly on Nokia’s lawsuits. The tech giants may seek to invalidate Nokia’s patents or could consider licensing deals to continue using the technology legally. However, the cases appear headed for protracted litigation barring any settlements.
Nokia stated its “door remains open for good faith negotiations” with Amazon and HP to license its standard-essential HEVC patents. The company has had success licensing its intellectual property to most major tech firms, including Apple, Samsung, LG, Lenovo and TCL.
Nokia’s patent infringement claims represent its latest attempt to profit from inventions fundamental to video streaming technology used across the tech industry.
With Amazon and HP unlikely to back down quickly, the lawsuits could pave the way for a major battle over intellectual property between Nokia and two of the world’s largest companies.