As far as patent disputes go, BlackBerry vs. Nokia is a sad undercard between two fallen heavyweights whose combined market share remains part of the dismal "Other" category in most reports. Nevertheless, Round 1 of this match is going to Nokia, thanks to an arbitration court ruling that has awarded the Finnish company $137 million to resolve a contract dispute related to payments it said BlackBerry owed under a patent license contract signed in 2012.
The November 29th ruling from the International Chamber of Commerce's International Court of Arbitration marks the end of a dispute that formally began in April, when Nokia filed a Request for Arbitration. In a press release, BlackBerry expressed tepid acceptance of the decision but said it was "disappointed" that the court did not agree with its arguments. Details about the nature of the patent license contract aren't available.
BlackBerry made it clear that while this dispute did not involve any allegations of patent infringement, it will continue to "vigorously pursue" patent infringement claims against Nokia in the U.S. and Germany. Back in February, BlackBerry filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nokia with a U.S. federal court in Delaware, having claimed that Nokia had been infringing on as many as 11 of its patents covering networking products.
In its official response to the $137 million ruling in its favor, Nokia said it was "pleased" and that it had already accounted for much of the awarded amount in its financial reports. The company also said BlackBerry's patent infringement claims are "without merit."
BlackBerry appears increasingly willing to wield its patent lawsuit sword to salvage its financial health, a strategy that CEO John Chen hinted at earlier this year.