RIM loses in patent cross-licensing dispute with Nokia

RIM suffered a setback in a contract dispute with Nokia. According to a Reuters report, a Swedish arbitrator said “”RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia.” These WLAN-enabled products include BlackBerry handsets and the PlayBook tablet. RIM could face a ban that would halt sales of BlackBerry phones, but analysts believe the Canadian company will avoid an injunction by agreeing to a royalty agreement with Nokia.

The issue in this case stems from a cross-licensing agreement between RIM and Nokia that covers standards-essential cellular patents. RIM petitioned the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in early 2011 and requested that the license also cover WLAN patents held by Nokia. A Swedish arbitration tribunal sided with Nokia and now RIM must scramble to secure licensing terms for its BlackBarry handsets. Nokia has already filed a request with a US court that seeks to enforce this decision.

[Via Reuters]

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