SEC Asked Apple for Information on Nokia Patent Settlement

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer
Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer. Photographer: Rick Maiman/Bloomberg

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked Apple Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer for information on the financial terms of a patent litigation settlement with Nokia Oyj.

The SEC requested details of the settlement agreement including any amounts accrued, the periods in which they were recognized and the timeline of negotiations in a June 28 letter to the company released in a regulatory filing today. Apple said “no aspects of the company’s discussions with Nokia were material to the company’s consolidated financial statements” in a July 12 letter to the SEC released in a separate filing today.

Nokia won an almost two-year patent dispute with Apple, in a settlement that awards a one-time payment and royalties to the Finnish handset maker, Nokia said in June. Details of the contract are confidential, Nokia said at the time.

Mark Durrant, a Nokia spokesman, Steve Dowling an Apple spokesman, and John Nester, a spokesman for the SEC, declined to comment.

The two mobile-phone makers had been in litigation since October 2009, when Nokia filed a lawsuit accusing Cupertino, California-based Apple of infringing patents. Nokia also demanded royalties on the millions of Apple iPhones sold since the device’s introduction in 2007. Nokia said in March it had 46 patents asserted against Apple in civil lawsuits and complaints lodged with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Nokia’s first claims covered technology for wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption. Subsequent claims asserted rights to wiping gestures on a touchscreen and on-device application stores, both of which Nokia said it filed to patent more than 10 years before the iPhone launch.

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