Avoiding potential sales block, RIM settles patent dispute with Nokia

Blackberry 10, RIM

Nokia announced Friday that it came to an agreement with Research In Motion to resolve all current patent litigation between the two companies. Detailed terms weren’t disclosed, but Nokia says RIM will pay a lump-sum as well as ongoing royalties under the agreement. This development follows only a month after Nokia requested enforcement of a sales ban on Research In Motion devices that use Wi-Fi radios.

The timing of this cross-patent licensing agreement couldn’t come at a better time for either company. Amid relatively slow-growing sales of Lumia smartphones, Nokia’s bank account could use both the one-time payment as well as royalty revenue going forward. And Research In Motion is in no position to have its devices kept off the shelves: On Jan. 30, it plans to introduce the first BlackBerry handsets to use its new BlackBerry 10 platform; the first iteration of RIM software that appears can compete with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.

Although the payment details are confidential, RIM shouldn’t have a problem transferring funds. Yesterday during its quarterly investor call, the company reported $2.9 billion in cash on hand. Of course, some of that is surely going to go into marketing the new BlackBerry 10 devices in order to generate sales.

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