A report in Reuters this morning has some potentially upsetting news. Apparently Nokia has scored a victory against RIM from a contract dispute regarding their WLAN-related patents. Nokia and RIM signed a cross-license agreement for “standards-essential cellular patents” in 2003, then renewed them in 2008. But then RIM questioned the contract as it “extended beyond cellular essentials.” Today, according to a Swedish arbitrator “RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia.”
If Nokia and RIM cannot find common ground on a royalty agreement, this outcome could potentially halt the sales of any current BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook, or future BlackBerry 10 devices. Because of this ruling, Nokia has now filed similar cases against RIM in the United States, Britain and Canada.