Blackberry's RIM Loses Nokia Patent Dispute

Blackberry’s RIM Loses Patent Dispute With Nokia

Blackberry maker RIM has lost a patent dispute with fellow smartphone-maker Nokia over the use of the Finnish company’s Oyj patents. The case could halt the sale of RIM (Research in Motion)’s products unless the two companies can reach a new royalties deal.

The Swedish arbitrator in the case has ruled that RIM has no right to make or sell mobile devices that can use WLAN to hook up to a WiFi network unless they first agree to royalties with Nokia, reports Reuters. The judge’s ruling stated in part:

“RIM is liable to pay royalties and damages to Nokia for its … sales of any subscriber terminals [handsets or tablets] … compatible with the WLAN standard.”

The ruling added, “RIM has not contested that it manufactures and sells products using WLAN in accordance with Nokia’s WLAN patents.”

The decision is a big win for Nokia, who is trying to increase the royalties it receives from other companies for patents as its phone business has slid. The BBC notes that Nokia has filed cases in the US, UK, and Canada to block sales of Blackberry smartphones in light of the ruling.

The Finnish company states that the ruling means RIM is not allowed to produce or sell devices that offer the common kind of WiFi connectivity until it agrees to pay the royalties.

Blackberry’s RIM is also fighting several other patent disputes, including one with Washington-based portfolio owner SoftVault Systems. The portfolio owner alleges that RIM has infringed on its anti-piracy digital rights management technologies.

The timing of the dispute ruling between RIM and Nokia could be particularly troubling for the Canadian-based company, who plans to release its first Blackberry 10 devices in the coming months.