Embattled handset manufacturers Nokia and RIM are now locked in a dispute with each other over patents in the US, Canada and UK. The two firms are fighting over intellectual property they have licensed to each other since 2003, which enables phones to connect to wifi networks.
Nokia is attempting to enforce a similar arbitration order to that which was handed down by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce as part of the same dispute. The Swedish arbitrator ruled that RIM is “not entitled to manufacture or sell products compatible with the WLAN standard” until it agrees on royalties with Nokia.
“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,” the arbitrator said in the ruling. “RIM has not contested that it manufactures and sells products using WLAN in accordance with Nokia’s WLAN patents.”
According to Nokia, a cross-license agreement was reached with RIM for standards-essential cellular patents in 2003 and was amended in 2008.
“In 2011, RIM sought arbitration, arguing that the license extended beyond cellular essentials,” Nokia said in a statement. “In November 2012, the arbitration tribunal ruled against RIM. It found that RIM was in breach of contract.”
“RIM and its US subsidiary nevertheless continue to violate the award and breach the underlying agreement. In order to enforce the Tribunal’s ruling, we have now filed actions in the US, UK and Canada with the aim of ending RIM’s breach of contract.”
Will regulators ever be able to catch up with the rate of change in the telco/tech industry?
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