Everyone in the FRAND sphere will be aware that this morning Nokia and Daimler announced a settlement in the litigation that was the talk of the SEP automotive space. With the settlement goes the infamous referral to the CJEU on questions of component level licensing (which also included questions about "willingness" to take a licence). 

This is obviously a sudden shift for the sector that was anticipating some answers to questions that have been vexing a number of companies, and some courts. However, it is worth highlighting that insofar as this is the end of a saga, it is a little more Return of the Jedi than Rise of Skywalker - the sequel(s) may take a while but they are likely to turn up at some point. For example, the Huawei v Nokia anti-trust litigation is still lurking around the Dusseldorf Courts, and seems ripe for a referral on the same (or similar) questions. (And that case can't really be settled without the point of principle being addressed in some way.)

Equally, whilst Daimler's complaint to the Commission has been settled as part of the deal, there are plenty of others in the wings continuing to push for the Commission's attention on this issue (for example, Continental, which also has its US action). 

It is tempting to paint this as a 'win' for Nokia, but it may also be a win for Daimler. One wonders if the existence of other litigation was one of the points in the mix fueling this settlement: if the question will be sorted out by others then why press on if a decent deal can be struck in the interim, with the prospect of exhaustively licensed TCUs still being an option in the future. We also do not know the terms of the deal: perhaps Daimler secured a concession on the licensing base?

The final point to be aware of is that whilst Daimler has settled with Nokia, it has not taken an Avanci licence, so Daimler's name still may appear in SEP litigation in the future.