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RIM loses patent dispute with Nokia; BlackBerry sales could suffer

November 28, 2012|By Andrea Chang
  • Research in Motion has lost a patent fight with rival Nokia that could lead to a halt in BlackBerry sales.
Research in Motion has lost a patent fight with rival Nokia that could lead… (Richard Drew / Associated…)

More bad news for struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

The Canadian company has lost a contract dispute over the use of Nokia patents, which could threaten the sale of BlackBerrys.

Nokia has asked courts in the U.S., Canada and Britain to block sales of BlackBerry smartphones until the two companies agree on royalty rates, according to Reuters. A halt in product sales would be averted if the sides can reach an agreement first.

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Finnish company Nokia signed a cross-licensing agreement with RIM that covered standards-essential cellular patents in 2003 and later amended that arrangement in 2008, Reuters said.

RIM sought arbitration in 2011 with the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, arguing that the license extended beyond cellular essentials and should cover WLAN patents. A nine-day hearing followed in September, and, according to Nokia, the tribunal "found unanimously" for Nokia on all but one of its requests for declaratory relief, PC Magazine said.

Besides its patent problems, RIM is also facing a sharp decline in market share in the U.S. and other countries, with consumers opting for Apple's products and mobile devices running Google's Android operating system.

The introduction of its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system in January will be a make-or-break launch for the company, analysts said.

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