RIM to pay out for Nokia patents

Posted by Emma Woollacott

RIM has cleared one obstacle out of its way, settling its patent dispute with Nokia for an undisclosed sum and ongoing royalties.

Nokia's keen to point out that the money's all going one way.

"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," says Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia.

"This agreement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."

Nokia says it plans to continue its litigation against HTC and ViewSonic over the same Wifi technology. The company has cases pending in the US, UK and Canada.

"With RIM having chosen licensing over litigation, it's up to HTC, ViewSonic and other Android device makers to follow suit," says patent expert Florian Mueller.

"Nokia's royalty demands are apparently quite reasonable. Otherwise it wouldn't have done dozens of deals, including the settlements with Apple and RIM."

The deal comes as RIM posts better-than-expected third quarter results, with a $9 million profit - although on an adjusted basis this means a loss of 22 cents a share. The company says it expects to post an operating loss in the fourth quarter, partly because customers are likely to defer purchases until the launch of the BlackBerry 10 next month.

"More than 150 carriers are currently completing technical acceptance programs for the first BlackBerry 10 products, and beta trials of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 are underway at more than 120 enterprises including 64 Fortune 500 companies," says president and CEO Thorsten Heins.

"This is an exciting time and our carrier partners, application developers and employees are all looking forward to unveiling the innovation and excitement of BlackBerry 10 to our customers on January 30, 2013."