Research In Motion Loses WLAN Patent Dispute To Nokia
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) just can’t seem to catch a break these days. They’ve been losing market share steadily over the last few years, their financials are looking grim, and their new BB10 operating system – which will likely make or break the company – keeps getting delayed. Now, another setback has hit RIM: they’ve lost a patent dispute with Nokia over some WLAN-related patents, and will be forced to pay Nokia royalties if they don’t want to get their devices pulled from sale.
As Reuters reports, RIM and Nokia were involved in arbitration in Sweden over some patents Nokia owns, and it was ruled that RIM does not have the right to sell devices that can connect to WiFi without licensing Nokia’s patents. The WLAN technology that’s present in every single modern BlackBerry (and pretty much every other smartphone in the world, for that matter) is apparently covered by a Nokia patent, and RIM will have to pony up some royalty money if they don’t want to face some serious sales injunctions.
Nokia is now in the process of making sure the arbitration results are in enforced across the globe. They’ve filed cases to that end in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and should have no problem getting the paperwork through. The results of the arbitration cannot be appealed, and should be legally binding in most other countries outside of Sweden.
One has to wonder how many other mobile manufacturers are currently paying Nokia royalty money for those WLAN patents, and if the ones who aren’t will be facing litigation from the Finnish company soon. Nokia has one of the most impressive patent portfolios in the smartphone market, due to how long they’ve been in it, and this row with RIM may be the beginnings a more aggressive patent litigation strategy from Nokia.