BlackBerry sues Nokia over patents for network gear

BlackBerry reportedly filed a lawsuit claiming Nokia is infringing on as many as 11 of its patents in offerings to carriers including AT&T and T-Mobile.

The suit, which was filed in federal court in Delaware, alleged that Nokia knowingly violated its patents in networking gear such as its Flexi Multiradio base stations, network controllers and Liquid Radio software. BlackBerry is seeking compensation but didn’t specify a dollar figure, according to Bloomberg, which was first to report on the suit.

The one-time kind of the mobile enterprise has honed its focus on software development and licensing after being squeezed out of the handset market. Last August it filed a 105-page patent lawsuit against Avaya, then followed that two weeks later with a suit claiming Blu Products was infringing on 15 of its patents.

Some of the patents at the heart of the new Nokia lawsuit were once owned by Nortel Networks, according to Bloomberg. Some 6,000 patents were bought from Nortel in 2011 by a consortium owned by BlackBerry, Apple, Microsoft and others for $4.5 billion, but a 2014 analysis by Elysium Digital found that many of those patents will begin to expire this year.

BlackBerry isn’t looking to block Nokia’s use of its patented technology, but rather is seeking to license them on fair and reasonable terms. The patents cover key components of the 3GPP mobile telecommunications standard.

BlackBerry’s pivot to licensing, software and services appears to be paying dividends as the company works to recover from its cratered handset business. The Canadian firm posted adjusted earnings in its most recent quarter at a penny per share, higher than the $0.02 per share loss expected by analysts, and it upgraded its outlook for 2017 to breakeven from its previous guidance of a loss of $0.05 per share.