BlackBerry - once a thriving smartphone maker is now struggling to keep going in the market that is now ruled by other manufacturers like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and others. The market share of BlackBerry has hit the dismal zero percent, which clearly hints at the final hours of its existence. Now, to breathe some life into the company, CEO John Chen is finding out ways to pull some revenue from its big book of wireless network patents. The first strike has been cast on Nokia for using BlackBerry licensed technology in its products.
BlackBerry has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Nokia in federal court. The trial entails huge royalties due to be charged in return for using BlackBerry patented technologies. In a complaint, BlackBerry has stated that Nokia's products such as Flexi Multiradio base stations, radio network controllers, and Liquid Radio software are using as many as 11 patented technologies.
For LTE networks, BlackBerry currently provides its products and services to US-based telcos such as T-Mobile and AT&T. In the complaint, BlackBerry also says,"Nokia has persisted in encouraging the use” of the standard-based products without seeking a license approval from BlackBerry. Regarding the patent infringement compensation, the company says,“BlackBerry aims to obtain recompense for Nokia’s unauthorised use of BlackBerry’s patented technology." The company, however, did not specify the amount it is seeking from Nokia.
BlackBerry also points out that Nokia is fully aware of how patent laws work as the Finnish brand itself has a long list of license-based patented technologies. Among the patents that Nokia has used in its products, were earlier owned by Nortel Networks Corp. a company that was later acquired by BlackBerry for $4.5 billion in 2011. BlackBerry used to be part of Rockstar Consortium group, which included companies like Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. after buying Nortel, BlackBerry had split the patents among the members.
Nokia has not responded to the issue yet, but we expect some response in the coming days. With the nearing launch of new Nokia phones at MWC 2017, it would be interesting to see how things pan out between both the companies. Stay tuned with us for more info on the issue.