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Right now, everything RIM does is in preparation for one thing: the überimportant launch of the BlackBerry 10.
Its latest patent deal is no exception. To prepare for the operating system’s debut, RIM is expanding its existing patent agreement with wireless research company InterDigital. With the expanded deal, RIM now has the rights to InterDigital’s 4G LTE and LTE-Advanced technology.
The announcement is a significant one for RIM, which can finally bring 4G LTE to its BlackBerry phones without having to worry about getting sued by InterDigtal over the technology. (Also, in case it wasn’t clear, the deal also more or less confirms that RIM’s upcoming smartphones will indeed come with LTE chips — which should make carriers like Verizon and AT&T very, very happy.)
RIM’s patent agreement comes weeks after RIM reached a similar patent licensing deal with Nokia. While that agreement has cost RIM at least $65 million so far, it’s also further proof that RIM is aiming to make the launch of BlackBerry 10 as smooth as possible. The last thing RIM wants to do is let a patent spat screw up the launch of the most critical release in its history.