RIM agrees to license Nokias patented tech to settle dispute

Research In Motion (RIM) and Nokia Corporation have officially ended their patent dispute and have announced a settlement deal that includes RIM obtaining the rights to Nokia's WLAN patented technologies.

Research in Motion (RIM) has come to an agreement with Nokia to pay the company a one-time settlement for Nokia’s patent dispute litigation.  However, the agreement also stipulates that RIM will pay Nokia for the rights to continue using their patented technology, which is essentially a lease agreement.

The lawsuits began when the Finland-based Nokia argued that the Canada-based RIM was using their wireless networking technology.  RIM did agree that they were implementing WLAN in their products, but they contested that their initial contract with Nokia covered the usage.  The court did not agree and RIM was ordered to pay Nokia royalties on the technologies or their BlackBerry line of smartphones would risk a sales injunction with no chance of appeal.

Both companies publicly stated that all former issues involving any patent usage disputes had officially ended in every sales region.  In regards to the deal made between the two, neither the cash value nor any of the patents agreed upon for usage was made public

In an official press statement, Paul Melin, who serves as Nokia’s chief intellectual property officer, stated, "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.  This agreement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."

Nokia further noted in their press release that the company has spent nearly $60 billion in research and development over the past two decades.  Nokia says that they have “built the wireless industry's strongest and broadest IPR portfolio, with around 10,000 patent families.” 

In other news, RIM saw their shares of BlackBerry plummet drastically by 23% on Friday, December 21st after the company's quarterly sales report was released.  

RIM's revenue for its fiscal third quarter dropped 47% to $2.7 billion as  shipment of Blackberry devices dropped  from 7.4 million to 6.9 million this year as compared to last’s.

During the financial quarter before last, RIM’s reports shows 80 million subscribers as compared this past quarter of 79 million subscribers.  In an effort to help boost sales, company CEO Thorsten Heins said that the company would be lowering prices on their BlackBerry 7 units along with service fees that it charges carriers.

The release of the BlackBerry 10 with its newly designed operating system will debut on January 30, 2013.  The new BlackBerry 10 is supposed to be an innovative design targeted at their larger competitors like that of Samsung or Apple, which have the vast majority of the smartphone market.  Nevertheless, RIM only captured a mere 5% of the smartphone market worldwide in 2012.  That share is predicted to drop by another percentage point in the next 3 years if current trends continue.