Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nokia hits RIM with three more patents in Munich

RIM has enough problems on its plate these days. Nokia added three more to the list: I found out that Nokia has recently filed, with the Munich I Regional Court, patent infringement actions against RIM over three additional patents.

More than two months ago, Nokia filed patent lawsuits against HTC, Viewsonic and RIM. Nokia asserted more patents against HTC and even against Viewsonic than against RIM. It originally sued the BlackBerry maker over seven patents in three different German cities: two in Düsseldorf, two in Mannheim, and three in Munich. The number of Munich patents has meanwhile doubled. These are the three new patents:

  1. EP1474750 on a "method and system for storing and transferring multimedia tags"

    Nokia is also asserting this one against HTC in Mannheim.

  2. EP08040461 on a "method and apparatus for updating the software of a mobile terminal using the air interface"

  3. EP1148681 on a "method for transferring resource information"

Nokia is suing RIM only in Germany at this stage (while it's suing HTC and Viewsonic in the United States as well), and in Germany, the center of gravity for the dispute between the two parties is now clearly in Munich (while Mannheim is the primary venue for Nokia's German lawsuits against HTC and Viewsonic).

Nokia's patent portfolio is hugely stronger than RIM's in terms of both standard-essential and non-standard-essential patents. RIM will probably countersue, if it hasn't already, but realistically, Nokia is going to win this sooner or later.

Research in Motion has so far been rather defensive in terms of patent litigation, but that may change soon unless the company gets bought. A filing that RIM made with the ITC earlier this week suggests that RIM thinks it has a better future as a patent troll abusing standard-essential patents than as an operating company, and/or that what it has to offer to a buyer comes down to its patent portfolio. I'll discuss that filing in my next post.

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