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BlackBerry Hits Nokia With Patent Violation Lawsuit

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Where is the love? BlackBerry’s departure from smartphone arena sees lawsuit against one time rival Nokia

BlackBerry has slapped its one-time mobile rival Nokia with a lawsuit alleging patent violations.

In its compliant filed on Valentines Day, the Canadian firm alleged that Nokia products such as the Flexi Multiradio base stations, radio network controllers, and Liquid Radio software are violating its patents for an industry wide standard.

BlackBerry said in a complaint in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware that the Nokia products use technology covered by as many as 11 of its patents.

Nortel patentsBlackBerry Complaint

The BlackBerry lawsuit centres around its claim to own “key mobile innovations that underlie 3G and 4G mobile communications technologies, such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), including LTE Advanced, and Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN) technologies”.

Bloomberg, quoted BlackBerry as saying: “Nokia has persisted in encouraging the use” of the standard-compliant products without a license from BlackBerry.”

“BlackBerry seeks to obtain recompense for Nokia’s unauthorized use of BlackBerry’s patented technology.” 

BlackBerry didn’t specify how much money it is seeking in recompense.

Nortel Patents

It seems that BlackBerry had acquired some of these patents when it was part of a group called Rockstar Consortium that bought Nortel’s patents out of bankruptcy for $4.5 billion (£3.6bn) in 2011.

The patents were split up between the members of the group, which included Apple and Microsoft.

Indeed in 2012, the Rockstar Consortium began negotiations with up to 100 potential licensees of the patents.

BlackBerry alleged that Nokia had tried, but failed, to purchase this intellectual property back in 2009, but Nortel’s bankruptcy proceedings got in the way.

At one stage in 2013 it seems that the Rockstar Consortium, the patent-holding group that rose from the ashes of bankrupt Nortel Networks, could be seeking to sell off some of the patents it acquired.

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