Feature Article

December 21, 2012

Nokia Finds Peace with RIM

In 2003, Nokia and the maker of Blackberry devices, Research in Motion (RIM), entered into a license agreement allowing RIM and Nokia to share some standard-essential patents. Eight years later in 2011, RIM argued that Nokia’s WLAN patents, which it is using in its devices, should be included in the original standard-essential patents agreement.

To this end, RIM has sought arbitration in Sweden.

Nokia argued that by using its WLAN technology, RIM violated its patents. Nokia’s argument is that its WLAN technology is intellectual property and not part of its standard-essential patents. Nokia requested that royalty payments should be made by RIM.

In May of 2012, Nokia tried to protect what it considers to be its intellectual property, and claimed that 45 of its patents were violated.

Nokia’s chief legal officer, Louise Pentland, said “We’d rather that other companies respect our intellectual property and compete using their own innovations. Many of these inventions are fundamental to Nokia products.”

In November 2012, RIM was the loser in the arbitration process. A Swedish arbitrator ruled in favor of Nokia. This, in turn, led Nokia to say that all lawsuits in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. are at an end.

Paul Mein, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia, was quoted as saying, “We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM and reached this new agreement, while maintaining Nokia’s ability to protect our unique product differentiation.”

There was no comment from either Nokia or RIM as to how much money was agreed upon to settle the dispute. Nokia is also not making public as to which of its patents were included in this deal.

Nokia is also not disclosing which of the 45 patents were violated by RIM, HTC and Viewsonic, but it did say that they have spent close to $60 billion on research and development over the last 20 years.

To settle everything, the Blackberry maker will make a one-time undisclosed payment to Nokia. In addition to this payment, RIM will make royalty payments to Nokia for the continued use of its patents.

Edited by Braden Becker

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