RIM has yet another battle on its hands, this time coming from Nokia. Back in 2003, RIM licensed wireless patents from Nokia, assuming the WLAN standard was included. In Nokia’s eyes, this was not the case and the Finnish company has now asked a court in California to enforce its arbitration award and ban BlackBerry sales, reports ComputerWorld.
Nokia says RIM “is not entitled to manufacture or sell products compatible with the WLAN standard without first agreeing with Nokia on the royalty to be paid for its manufacture and/or sale of subscriber terminals compatible with such standards.”
The Swedish arbitrator ruling in favour of Nokia had this to say according to Reuters:
“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 arbitrator said in the ruling, issued on Nov. 6 but not publicised until Wednesday.
“RIM has not contested that it manufactures and sells products using WLAN in accordance with Nokia’s WLAN patents,” it added.
The Reuters story notes a source close to RIM says this ruling is unlikely to have any immediate consequences, as Nokia still has to gain the legal approval of the arbitration panel’s ruling in other countries, which could take a while. Most analysts assume RIM will seek a royalty agreement to avoid any sort of sales ban, which would affect the upcoming launch of its anticipated BlackBerry 10 smartphones.