Huawei is licensing Nokia technology

Huawei Mate 50 Pro
Despite the existing restriction imposed by the US government, Nokia Corporation announced a new patent licensing agreement with Huawei in an unusually short two-sentence press release. According to Nokia, the new patent licensing agreement remains confidential between parties.

Still, we can speculate that it could be related to the new “XMAGE” variable aperture camera on the latest Huawei Mate 50 Pro as both companies can no longer work together on 5G. The lack of exchanges between both parties on the press release may also indicate that the license may have been done last minute (and possibly, to avoid potential litigation).

The physical variable aperture module on the Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Nokia has an existing patent for a variable aperture camera (US20070216803A1) filed in March of 2006 and granted in 2009. The patent is currently assigned to Nokia Technologies Oy with adjusted expiration of 2027. Usually, patents will expire 20 years after it was filed if no further development or improvement from the original invention is being made. Currently, the US20070216803A1 patent is marked as “active”.

Interestingly, the inventor of this patent is the Nokia veteran, Marko Eromäki. During his time at Nokia Corporation (March 1997 to April 2014), and later, Microsoft (April 2014 to August 2016), Marko Eromäki served as a Senior Imaging Technology Specialist (Opto-electromechanics) and has a large number of mobile camera-related patents credited to his name.

Some of the most notable ones are 3D image capture using dual cameras, optical image stabilization, an automatic focus for mobile cameras, an image correction algorithm for images captured with OIS, a method, and apparatus for autofocus and OIS, and a camera module with movable lens for autofocus and zooming. Some of these inventions are still active and are assigned to Nokia Corporation.

Currently, Marko Eromäki works for Huawei as a Principal Engineer (Opto-electromechanics).

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