An interesting opportunity has presented itself to Microsoft following news that Canada-based Research In Motion has lost a legal dispute with Nokia over wireless technology patents. As a result, RIM could see BlackBerry handsets banned unless it agrees to pay royalties to Nokia. As things stand, Nokia has already filed cases in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom to enforce the ruling, a move that could see all Blackberry smartphones removed from store shelves.
“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”, Nokia said in a statement. If the courts enforce the sales ban, consequences for the ailing BlackBerry maker could be devastating while opening door to Microsoft’s Windows Phone becoming the #3 mobile platform…
An arbitration tribunal on Wednesday ruled that all Blackberry phones infringe Nokia’s wireless local access network (WLAN) patents, Reuters reported.
Nokia and RIM agreed a cross-license for standards essential cellular patents in 2003, which was amended in 2008. In 2011, RIM sought arbitration, arguing that the license extended beyond cellular essentials. In November, the arbitration tribunal ruled against RIM.
It found that RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia. 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.
If Nokia removes BlackBerry phones from major markets, RIM would not only suffer a major financial loss, the company would also surrender its enterprise leadership to iOS and Android while allowing Microsoft to overnight become the #3 mobile platform provider.
“RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia”, the Finland-based company commented.
RIM already has plenty of problems of its own.
As the BlackBerry collapses in the United States and elsewhere, a Kantar Worldpanel survey shows RIM’s US market share dropping below two percent.
And according to IDC, Android and iOS are both set to surpass the BlackBerry in enterprise this year.
Can RIM be saved or is the company done for at this point?