Nokia announced Wednesday that it filed litigation against Research In Motion (RIM) [corporate websites], the Canadian parent company of BlackBerry, in courts in the US, UK and Canada to block sales of BlackBerry smartphones. The move came after a Swedish arbitrator's decision that ruled in favor of the Finnish company in a breach of contract case. Nokia is seeking to enforce [Reuters report] the decision. The arbitrator held that the Canadian company, which uses Nokia's wireless local access network (WLAN) technologies in its BlackBerry smartphones, is obligated to pay royalties if it desires to continue to utilize the technologies at issue. Nokia and RIM entered into a license agreement covering cellular patents in 2003, but in 2011 RIM unsuccessfully sought to extend the license to WLAN patents in the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Specific dates of when the courts will hear the cases are still unknown.
Litigation involving smartphone technologies have become more common throughout the globe. The most significant example is the battle between Samsung and Apple [corporate websites]. Earlier this month, a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled that Apple and Samsung may each pursue additional patent infringement claims against the other, allowing each company to add devices brought to market after the original lawsuit was filed in February. In October the Dutch Rechtbank's-Gravenhage [official website] court ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple software patent. In the same month, a UK court also ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple design patent. In the same time frame Apple appealed [JURIST report] a Tokyo District Court ruling which dismissed the company's claim that Samsung had infringed on its patents. At the beginning of October, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] reversed an injunction [JURIST report] against Samsung that prevented it from selling its Galaxy Nexus product. Earlier in August, Apple won a $1.05 billion judgment [JURIST report] in the Northern District of California against Samsung involving other patent infringements.