Just when it seemed things were starting to look up for RIM with the announcement that BlackBerry 10 will go ahead next year, Nokia has taken a swing and the damage will have a lasting affect.
The basics of this blow is that BlackBerry uses WiFi (IEEE 802.11) which it seems Nokia owns the patent for and the struggling company have been ordered to pay royalties or stop selling devices.
Swedish arbitrator : (via Yahoo)
“RIM is liable to pay royalties and damages to Nokia for its … sales of any subscriber terminals (handsets or tablets) … compatible with the WLAN standard,”
“RIM has not contested that it manufactures and sells products using WLAN in accordance with Nokia’s WLAN patents,”
Nokia and RIM have been negotiating for some time but couldn’t agree on license fees. RIM mistakenly thought it would benefit from triggering an arbitration proceeding, which it did in April 2011. This backfired. After a nine-day arbitration hearing in September (which was also mentioned obliquely in the Munich court), an arbitration award was issued on November 6. Nokia says that “[t]he Tribunal found unanimously for Nokia on all but one of its requests for declaratory relief, and denied all but one of RIM’s requests for declaratory relief”, and “required RIM to bear the costs of the arbitration and compensate Nokia for the majority of its legal fees”.
As if this wasn’t bad enough it seems that RIM are also likely to be liable for Nokia’s in court expenses due to them starting arbitration last year on the case.