HMD Global: Making quick steps to re-launching its Nokia phones in Europe after patent kerfuffle

Peter, 28 February 2022

HMD Global is not happy about the court ruling that forced it to pull its phones out of Germany (and other regions), but it’s not taking it laying down either. The company reached out to us with a statement about the legal issue and what it is doing about it.

VoiceAgeEVS LLC (VAEVS) filed suits in multiple jurisdictions over a patent on Enhanced Voice Services, an audio codec used in VoLTE. HMD argues that VAEVS made “excessive non-FRAND royalty demands”. Patents that are essential to an industry standard (like VoLTE in this case) are required to be licensed under Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Of course, companies often have disagreements over what is fair and reasonable.

HMD is confident that it can win the legal battle, but in the meantime the company is removing the functionality that uses the patent in question. Note that Enhanced Voice Services is an optional part of VoLTE, so this doesn’t mean that the VoLTE is being removed in full. Expect to see the full range of Nokia smartphones return to Nokia.com soon.

Here is the full statement from HMD Global:

As the owner of a significant patent portfolio, HMD takes intellectual property rights seriously and is willing to offer and take licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms. HMD is a defendant in several lawsuits initiated by a company called VoiceAgeEVS LLC in different jurisdictions, including Germany. We are disappointed by the ruling of the VoiceAge lawsuit in Germany in December and are appealing.

HMD remains confident regarding the outcome of the overall dispute and will continue to provide consumers devices, accessories, and services that they love, trust and want to keep.

Given the excessive non-FRAND royalty demands made publicly by VAEVS, HMD has already taken measures to remove support for EVS from products sold in Germany to enable continued sales. HMD does not expect the removal of EVS functionality to have any meaningful impact on its business. HMD continues to sell a significant portfolio in Europe and will be including a full portfolio on our websites shortly.


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Reader comments

  • Carol
  • 27 Jun 2022
  • mek

And the worst part is, you actually owe a replica brand thinking that is the real deal.

  • Anonymous
  • 02 Mar 2022
  • M$2

Please show us where HMD are using the Snapdragon 615 in any recent smartphones. In fact, please show us where they are using any Snapdragon processors at all in 2022 so far - everything they have announced have been low-end devices using Unisoc chip...

You people don't talk about India

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