by Al Sacco

Dolby Sues RIM, Wants All BlackBerry Sales Stopped in U.S. and Germany

Jun 15, 20112 mins
MobileSmall and Medium Business

RIM is facing another patent infringement suit that could potentially lead to suspended BlackBerry sales in the U.S. and Germany

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is today facing new patent infringement lawsuits in the United States and Germany, filed by Dolby International, a maker of various audio technologies. Dolby is seeking both an unspecified amount of financial damages and injunctions which would stop the sales of various BlackBerry products in these markets.

Dolby and RIM Logos
Dolby and RIM Logos

From a press release on the subject:

RIM employs Dolby’s patented technologies in its Blackberry smart phones and Playbook tablet devices, without having obtained licenses from Dolby, the lawsuits says.

“Litigation was regrettably our last resort after RIM declined to pay for the use of Dolby’s technology,” said Andy Sherman, executive vice president and general counsel of Dolby. “We have a duty to protect our intellectual property.”

More specifically, the Dolby suit claims that RIM is infringing on Dolby patents related to digital audio compression technologies that allow for high-quality audio on mobile devices without the need for large amounts of storage space.

The U.S. lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The German lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany.

RIM is certainly no stranger to lawsuits; the company is frequently the target of patent-related suits and other litigation, but Dolby is a recognizable firm with many resources, so this particular case could be prove to be more than a minor headache for the BlackBerry maker. And while it’s unlikely that BlackBerry sales will be stopped in the United States or Germany due to the legal action—RIM would probably settle the case if it ever reached that point—Dolby is putting pressure on the company at a time when it’s already in the spotlight due to decreasing subscriber numbers, shrinking customers loyalty and rumors of product delays.

Read more specific in Dolby’s related press release.



Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Al at