RIM Pays Nokia $65 Million Patent Dispute Settlement

by Istvan Fekete on January 4, 2013

RIMMobile market players defend their share by making use of their patent portfolio. Just a quick example that is currently shaking the tech world is the ongoing patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung that resulted in a $1 billion damages ruling favoring Apple. However, Nokia and RIM are no exception, as the Finnish handset maker has filed patent infringement lawsuits against the BlackBerry manufacturer in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom, and is seeking to block BlackBerry sales.

The two parties reached an agreement last year, and as a result Nokia has withdrawn its lawsuit against RIM, but no terms were disclosed. The Financial Times, however, has the details of the agreement as a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the size of the amount, and says the two tech companies have decided to end their ongoing dispute over RIM’s use of Wi-Fi in its mobile handsets when the Canadian manufacturer agreed to pay €50 million ($65.8 million) to satisfy Nokia’s demand.

“The financial structure of the agreement includes a lump sum 50 euro million one-time payment, which has been recorded in the company’s consolidated statement of operations in the third quarter,” the document published on the agency’s website says.

From the $1 billion ruling’s perspective the amount is small, but other details highlight a bigger hit for RIM: it could pay up to $5 per handset sold, which represents a bigger hit to the struggling Canadian manufacturer then initially expected.

The conflict between Nokia and RIM sparked from different interpretations of which licensing deals are covered by an agreement that dates back to 2003 allowing RIM to use Nokia’s patented technology.

Although Samsung now holds the No. 1 spot as the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer, it’s position is fresh, as Nokia was the uncrowned king of the mobile market for fourteen years. While it couldn’t really prepare a successful entrance in the fast-growing smartphone market, the Finnish manufacturer retains a powerful patent portfolio covering more than 10,000 types of technology.

Yet both companies are losing ground in the mobile market, at least according to the latest reports covering the US and Canada, with Android and iOS recording growth over the past months. As we previously reported, RIM’s BlackBerry has lost its charm among smartphone buyers, so it’s RIM’s turn to show off its latest development at the end of this month, with the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the new smartphones.

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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