BlackBerry Ltd. filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Nokia Corp., demanding royalties on the Finnish company’s mobile network products that use an industry-wide technology standard.
Nokia’s products including its Flexi Multiradio base stations, radio network controllers and Liquid Radio software are using technology covered by as many as 11 patents, BlackBerry said in a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.
The mobile network products and services are provided to companies including T-Mobile USA Inc. and AT&T Inc. for their LTE networks, BlackBerry said in the complaint. “Nokia has persisted in encouraging the use” of the standard-compliant products without a license from BlackBerry, it said.
“BlackBerry seeks to obtain recompense for Nokia’s unauthorized use of BlackBerry’s patented technology,” the Waterloo, Ont.-based company said in the complaint. BlackBerry didn’t specify how much it’s seeking.
Chief executive officer John Chen is working to find new ways to pull revenue out of BlackBerry’s technology as smartphone sales head to zero. He’s used acquisitions to add a suite of software products and negotiated licensing agreements to take advantage of the company’s thick book of wireless technology patents.
Nokia is aware of the inventions because the company has cited some of the patents in some of its own patent applications, BlackBerry said.
Some of the patents in the case were previously owned by former telecommunications giant Nortel Networks Corp., and Nokia had at one point tried to buy them as part of a failed bid for Nortel’s business in 2009, according to BlackBerry.
BlackBerry was part of a group called Rockstar Consortium that bought Nortel’s patents out of bankruptcy for $4.5-billion in 2011. The patents were split up between the members of the group, which included Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
Since BlackBerry contends that patents cover essential elements of a mobile telecommunications standard known as 3GPP, it has pledged to license them on fair and reasonable terms. It doesn’t seek any court order that would block use of the inventions.