Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM:
At a time when it could really use a break, Research In Motion can’t catch one. Nokia is seeking a U.S. ban on BlackBerry sales for any devices that use the 802.11 wireless LAN standard, according to Computerworld. Per the filing, Nokia says “[RIM] is not entitled to manufacture or sell products compatible with the WLAN standard without first agreeing with Nokia on the royalty to be paid for its manufacture and/or sale of subscriber terminals compatible with such standards.”
RIM has no choice but to pay — they can’t afford any delay in the launch of BlackBerry 10, which will surely turn everything around and save the company. From FOSS Patents’ article on the subject, it appears what’s actually happened is that RIM was already paying for this patent—as you’d expect, given that it’s apparently a patent on the wi-fi standard itself. This is not the only time this has come up recently, either; Nokia has also engaged in sabre-rattling at the Nexus 7.
(It’s important again to distinguish between “patent troll” and “patent holder”; just suing someone over inappropriate use of your patents doesn’t make you a troll. Nokia is not a patent troll—they actually use these patents, have for a long time, and they follow the FRAND standard for patent licensing. If suing people over patents is your entire business model, then you’re a troll.)