Case Comment: Nokia v. Daimler, Regional Court (Landgericht) of Mannheim

  • Koomar Bihangam Choudhury and Tarun Yadav
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  • Koomar Bihangam Choudhury

    LL.M. student at OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India

  • Tarun Yadav

    LL.M. student at OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India

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The Nokia versus Daimler conflict arose within the context of an intense and ongoing struggle surrounding connected car technology. Several of Nokia's patents were designated as "standard essential" by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), obligating Nokia, as a holder of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), to offer patent licenses to third parties on Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The latest car models from Daimler come equipped with a Telematics Control Unit (TCU), facilitating internet connectivity through LTE. Owners of these vehicles can utilize the TCU to access a variety of internet-based services, such as satellite navigation and music streaming, and receive vehicle updates remotely, foregoing the need for in-person dealership appointments. Although Daimler, also termed Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) does not produce the TCUs itself, it procures these units from a Tier 1 supplier of Telematic Control Unit (TCU) upstream in the supply chain. Subsequently, this Tier 1 supplier relies on a Tier 2 manufacturer of Network Access Device (NAD) to acquire the necessary subcomponents for the TCUs, and the chips essential for manufacturing these subcomponents are sourced from a Tier 3 supplier of chips manufacturers. Thus, instead of acquiring licenses itself, Daimler wanted one of its suppliers to be granted these licences. Nokia, on the other hand was adamant not to do the same as the asking price of the SEP would not be same if provided on FRAND terms to Daimler and its suppliers. As expected, Nokia filed multiple infringement suits across Germany primarily in Munich, Mannheim and Dusseldorf. The following case study follows the suit in the Regional Court (Landgericht) Of Mannheim, Germany.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 6, Issue 3, Page 425 - 434


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