Nokia has filed a lawsuit against struggling BlackBerry claiming it infringed on a patents agreement made in 2003.
The Lumia maker has filed lawsuits in three courts globally including US, UK and BlackBerry home country Canada, claiming Research in Motion, makers of BlackBerry, breached an agreement to licence standard essential patents (SEP) signed back in 2003.
The technologies related to WiFi patents owned by Nokia, or wireless local area network WLAN (WiFi, IEEE 802.11), which it claims RIM used without paying royalties.
Nokia’s US filing is seeking a ban on sale of BlackBerry’s until a settlement is made.
The parties had been negotiating for some time on a settlement but were unable to agree licence fees.
RIM claimed the original agreement should also have covered non-essential patents and filed a case in Swedish arbitration court last year.
However, RIM’s attempt to scupper Nokia “backfired” and its claims were rejected by the judge, with the court ruling in favour of the Finnish giant, notes Florian Mueller, Foss Patents.
If Nokia are successful, RIM could be forced to fork out as much as $5 per phone sold to Nokia, or face selling BlackBerry’s without WiFi.
Canadainn owned RIM says it “will respond to Nokia’s petitions in due course” and “has worked hard to develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology and has built an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio of its own,” reports AAP.
Tech companies are obliged by industry agreements to licence essential standard patents to other companies, and Nokia as one of the biggest phone makers globally is sitting on a bundle of patents which it licences to rival companies like Apple, HTC and others.
“Compared to RIM, Nokia is in a relatively stronger position in all respects, and especially as far as intellectual property issues are concerned,” notes Florian Mueller.
The sparring duo, once the kings of the phone world, have suffered at the hands of Apple and Samsung although Nokia could see its fortunes reversed if its newly released Lumia 820 and 920 Windows Phones take off.