Research In Motion has lost a lawsuit against Nokia Corporation. A Swedish arbitrator ruled that RIM is not entitled to make or sell mobile devices that can connect to WiFi networks using wireless local access network systems (WLAN) without agreeing to paying royalties to 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,” said the arbitrator in the ruling. “RIM has not contested that it manufactures and sells products using WLAN in accordance with Nokia’s WLAN patents.”
This could have a major impact on RIM’s financial picture. RIM is banking a lot of their future on the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, which should arrive in January 2013. RIM promised that their new devices ail be faster than previous smartphones.
Nokia signed a cross-license agreement with RIM back in 2003. The deal was amended in 2008 and RIM sought arbitration in March 2011 with the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. RIM argued that the license should be extended to cover WLAN patents. Nokia generates around $646 million per year from patent royalties.