Mobile

Nokia aims to block RIM phone sales, following patent dispute

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In a battle between two troubled phone manufacturers, Nokia is seeking to block the sales of some of Research in Motion’s BlackBerry phones, following RIM’s loss in a patent dispute between the two.

Nokia asked a San Jose court yesterday to enforce the BlackBerry ban, reports ComputerWorld, until the two companies can agree on new royalty rates for RIM to use Nokia’s wireless LAN (WLAN) technology (more popularly known as Wi-Fi).

RIM initially licensed wireless patents from Nokia in a 2003 agreement, but Nokia claims the WLAN patents at issue weren’t included in that deal. Now that almost every BlackBerry phone includes Wi-Fi functionality, blocking a sales block could be a death knell for the already troubled company.

Neither RIM or Nokia are commenting on the case at the moment.

Among the patents at issue are U.S. patent 5,479,476, which deals with “adjustable operating characteristics” for phones; 6,427,078, which covers a portable workstation; and 6,049,796, which concerns real-time search on a personal digital assistant. Three other patents deal with more general features, including a cellphone interface, call rejection, and alerts while the phone is in silent.