RIM accused of patent infringement by NXP Semiconductor

Research In Motion was accused of infringing on six wireless patents owned by NXP Semiconductor, according to legal documents filed by the Dutch-based chipset maker.

Click here for details on RIM's new BlackBerry 7 devices.

Click here for details on RIM's BlackBerry 7 devices.

NXP claims RIM is using patented inventions without permission, and that products impacted by this legal action include the BlackBerry Torch, Playbook, Curve and Bold, according to Bloomberg. A spokesman for NXP told Dow Jones Newswires that unsuccessful licensing discussions with RIM "have unfortunately resulted in the need by NXP to invoke its legal rights via the courts."

RIM declined to comment on the lawsuit.

NXP, Europe's third-largest chip vendor, filed the complaint earlier this week with a request for compensation in cash together with a court order to block further use by RIM of its inventions. RIM shares reacted fell on news, dropping nearly 10 per cent as investors judged that potential buyers of the company would not want a patent abuse case involved with any acquisition.

Of note, NXP has filed the suit in Orlando, Fla., where RIM is holding its annual BlackBerry World Conference in one month.

Separately, retailers in the UK have said that while the BlackBerry brand remains popular with young consumers, RIM is failing to cope with competition from other handset vendors. A Phones 4U employee told Mobile Today: "The phones can be absolutely brilliant for social networking. It's still a very good company but I think HTC and Samsung have left them behind as a consumer brand in recent years."

Scott Bicheno, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, said RIM needs to build its brand to compete with Apple and Android. He also claimed that the business still faces issues a lack of application development. "It's almost a 'Catch 22,'" Bicheno told Mobile Today. "If you have a large installed base, you get more app developers and more apps. Android and Apple both have this but BlackBerry does not. Building its third party support and its brand are its biggest challenges."

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this Mobile Today article

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