Nokia Prevails In Wi-Fi Patent Lawsuit Against RIM
November 28, 2012

Nokia Prevails In Wi-Fi Patent Lawsuit Against RIM

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

RIM, the Canadian maker of the once popular Blackberry smartphone, has become somewhat synonymous with bad news lately. As consumer and enterprise customers in the UK and US continue to leave the platform in droves, RIM must depend on sales in Latin America, the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

Now, a lawsuit from Nokia could prevent them from selling to the small customer base who are actually asking for Blackberry phones after RIM has lost a contract dispute over their use of Wi-Fi technology. As reported in Reuters, RIM has been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with Nokia, who claims ownership of these Wi-Fi patents.

Nokia now plans to use this ruling in their favor and has filed cases against RIM in Britain, Canada and the United States. Nokia filed their US complaint in a San Jose courtroom.

“Nokia and RIM agreed a cross-license for standards essential cellular patents in 2003, which was amended in 2008,” reads the statement from Nokia concerning these new suits.

“In 2011, RIM sought arbitration, arguing that the license extended beyond cellular essentials. In November, the arbitration tribunal ruled against RIM. It found that RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia. In order to enforce the Tribunal´s ruling, we have now filed actions in the US, UK and Canada with the aim of ending RIM´s breach of contract,” continued the statement.

Just like many other smartphones, most of RIM´s Blackberrys use the 802.11 wireless LAN standard in question. While a sales ban on any company has the potential for some damage, a sales ban on RIM could be devastating. As such, some analysts expect RIM will now work to settle this matter.

Despite the blows which have befallen RIM in recent years, they´ve continued to soldier on. With a relatively new CEO at the helm, RIM continues to place their hope on their new operating system, Blackberry 10, or BB10. RIM has a long journey ahead and are likely hoping BB10 will be the first step in the right direction. In the days since Apple´s iPhone and Google´s Android operating system first stepped on the scene, the Blackberry has paled in comparison. The new BB10 is their answer to a call that began some 5 years ago, bringing many modern advancements to a revised platform.

RIM once made their bones in the enterprise and government sectors, as Blackberry was the popular choice for business professionals and government agents. While these customers may have helped to keep them afloat during these rough seasons, recent reports hold that even these stalwart customers have begun to make the switch to Apple and Google.

Several US government agencies, such as the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have all said they´d be leaving RIM for iPhone, saying they prefer Apple´s strict control over both hardware and software as well as their improving security features.

This led RIM to prematurely put the word out highlighting the new enhanced security features of its BB10, months before official launch of the OS.

Despite these promises of a new, more secure OS, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently said they´d be making the switch to iPhone as well, claiming that the Blackberry handsets they had been using had become unreliable and “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.”