It seems the Canada-based Research In Motion’s headaches are starting to pile up. Dolby Laboratories is suing RIM, and is seeking for an injunction to halt the sale of Blackberry Products (including the Blackberry Playbook) as well as a settlement for damages for trademark infringement charges on its patents. Does this mean that the much awaited tablet will suffer from further delays?
Dolby claims that Blackberry smartphones as well as the Playbook make use of Dolby’s audio compression technology. They have also claimed that the major manufacturers in the same industry such as Apple have licensed their technology.
Andy Sherman, executive vice president and general counsel of Dolby, said, “Litigation was regrettably our last resort after RIM declined to pay for the use of Dolby’s technology. We have a duty to protect our intellectual property”
Dolby Laboratories is seeking damages and the sales halt of all Blackberry devices. However, this is not likely to happen anytime soon. Let’s take the legal battle between Nokia and IPCom as an example. The lawsuit was filed in 2007 and a ruling was made just recently.
Regardless of the years it would take to come to a court decision, this does not mean that Research In Motion can rest easy. It seems that its headaches are piling up.
Aside from this patent dispute, RIM has had a major investor dump more than 50% of its shares with the phone manufacturer. This was Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd. To make things worse, the investment firm’s chairman, Stephen Jarislowsky, bluntly said, “We are on the way out. The stake has been reduced by more than 50 per cent or even more. They are resting on their laurels. Steve Jobs is a much better marketer than RIM.”
This is strange since RIM has done 16% better in terms of sales compared to last year. Regardless, we hope this is not the start of RIM’s teetering towards extinction.