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Nokia to seek sales ban on Blackberry phones

Ruling says RIM infringes Finns' wireless patents
Wed Nov 28 2012, 10:43
RIM Blackberry 10 Operating System Widgets

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia looks set to seek a ban on Blackberry smartphones, following a ruling that Research in Motion (RIM) infringes its wireless patents.

An arbitration tribunal ruled that the Blackberry maker infringes Nokia's wireless local access network (WLAN) patents, saying that RIM must first agree royalties before manufacturing or selling WLAN products.

Nokia said it has filed cases in the UK, US and Canada to enforce the ruling, which could see Blackberry smartphones removed from store shelves.

A Nokia spokesperson told The INQUIRER, "Nokia and RIM agreed a cross-license for standards-essential cellular patents in 2003, which was amended in 2008.

"In 2011, RIM sought arbitration, arguing that the license extended beyond cellular essentials. In November 2012, 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."

If Nokia's sought after sales ban goes ahead, things could be about to get a whole lot worse for RIM, which is already struggling to compete in the smartphone market. It could also see Windows Phone taking the number three spot ahead of Blackberry, suggesting that this is a tactical move on Nokia's part.

"This could have a significant financial impact, as all Blackberry devices support WLAN, although the volumes are currently very low in these countries," IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo said to Reuters.

RIM has not yet responded to our request for comment. µ


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