BlackBerry ban looms following loss in Nokia suit

RIM Nokia Patent Lawsuit

Research In Motion (RIMM) shares were riding high recently until new market share data released by Kantar Worldpanel sent RIM’s stock tumbling on Tuesday. More bad news comes Wednesday morning as RIM has lost a patent dispute with Nokia (NOK) that could see BlackBerry smartphones banned unless RIM agrees to pay royalties. The dispute surrounding Nokia patents that cover mobile WLAN technology went to arbitration in Sweden recently, and the arbitrator on Wednesday ruled that “RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia,” Nokia said in a statement. The ruling covers all BlackBerry devices and Nokia says it has filed similar complaints in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Nokia’s full statement follows below.

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, 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.

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