RIM loses patent dispute with Nokia over Wi-Fi on smartphones
If you thought only Apple and Samsung are the ones who are rather excited about showing up in the courtrooms around the world, think again! This time, Nokia and RIM are at it. More specifically, Finnish smartphone maker Nokia dragged Canadian firm Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry handsets, to court over a dispute regarding how the BlackBerry phones hook up to Wi-Fi networks. A Swedish arbitrator has ruled in favour of Nokia.
The ruling clearly states that RIM was not entitled to make or sell mobile devices which can connect to Wi-Fi networks, using technology known as WLAN or Wireless Local Access Network Systems, without first agreeing to pay royalties with Nokia.
Simply put, RIM will now have to pay royalties to Nokia for every Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry phones ever sold. The ruling states "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. RIM has not contested that it manufactures and sells products using WLAN in accordance with Nokia's WLAN patents."
Since this ruling cannot be appealed, RIM seems to be in a rather tough spot. The company will most likely finalise a royalty agreement with Nokia, failing which, they risk an injunction order against their smartphones. Surely, RIM would want to avoid the issue spiraling out of control, with the massively important BlackBerry 10 launch looming.
However, this may be a strand of good news that Nokia was looking for. Nokia shares are already down another 1 percent, despite the expectations that the new Lumia range of smartphones will boost sales.