The patent battle between Nokia and Research in Motion continued this week, with Nokia asking that a California court enforce a recent Swedish arbitration award that found RIM to be in violation of a Nokia patent agreement.
The move could prevent the sale of BlackBerry devices with Nokia-owned wireless technology until the two firms agree on royalty rates.
According to a Nokia spokesman, the two companies agreed on a cross license for standards-essential cellular patents in 2003, a deal that was amended in 2008. Last year, however, RIM filed a request for arbitration with the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, arguing that the license extended beyond cellular essentials, Nokia said.
The chamber appointed an arbitration tribunal, which conducted a nine-day hearing in September. According to Nokia’s filing, the 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. The tribunal also required RIM to bear the costs of the arbitration and compensate Nokia for the majority of its legal fees.” Details of the tribunal’s award are confidential.
Basically, the tribunal found that RIM can’t manufacture or sell products that make use of Nokia’s WLAN patents without coming to an agreement with Nokia about royalty rates. “Nokia and RIM have not agreed on the royalty to be paid for the manufacture and/or sale of RIM subscriber terminals compatible with WLAN,” Nokia said.
The tribunal’s findings are enforceable in the U.S., Finland, Canada, and Sweden.
A RIM spokesman declined to comment on ongoing litigation.
Nokia and RIM have been on opposing sides of the courtroom before.Nokia sued HTC, RIM, and ViewSonic in May for allegedly infringing on 45 of its patents. Nokia filed a suit in Dusseldorf against HTC and RIM, and in the Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich against all three firms.
Among the infringements, Nokia cited hardware (dual function antennas, power management and multimode radios) and software (app stores, navigation, conversational message display, dynamic menus, data encryption, retrieval of email attachments on a mobile device).