In a new report posted this afternoon we find out that Apple only extended a provisional patent license to Nokia for a limited 'standstill' period. Yesterday Apple filed its opening brief in the appeal of Judge Lucy Koh's denial of a permanent injunction against multiple Samsung products. It finally became accessible over the Internet a couple of hours ago.
This is a strategically very important appeal in its own right. The issue at stake here is fundamental. It's about nothing less than the ability of Apple and other patent holders to win permanent injunctions in the United States against direct competitors infringing some of their patents. As a byproduct the appeal brief also reveals, for the first time ever, the nature of the June 2011 settlement between Apple and Nokia:
"And in any event, the Nokia and HTC licenses are quite limited. The Nokia agreement was merely a 'provisional license' for a limited 'standstill' period [...] These limited terms are consistent with Apple's desire to prevent others from using its unique user experience patents without restriction."
While most of the HTC license agreement (almost everything except for the financial terms) is known, the scope of the Apple-Nokia deal had been a mystery for almost two years. It's still not perfectly clear how "provisional" a license it constitutes, and how limited the "standstill" period is. But Apple wouldn't be using this terminology if the scope of the Nokia deal was comparable to that of the HTC license.
Below is a copy of Apple's opening brief in the Appeal regarding Apple vs. Samsung.
Towards the end of the report, Mueller stated that Apple's brief illustrates that "Apple wants to maintain product differentiation and defend its intellectual property but is not pursuing thermonuclear destruction." For more on this, see Florian Mueller's report.