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.
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.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.