Dolby sues RIM over audio patents

By : |June 16, 2011 0

[image_library_tag 858/10858, align=”left” title=”RIM” height=”79″ alt=”RIM” hspace=”7″ width=”200″ vspace=”7″ border=”0″ ,default]CALIFORNIA, USA: Dolby Laboratories has filed a lawsuit against Research In Motion, alleging the BlackBerry maker used Dolby’s audio compression technologies in its smartphones and PlayBook tablets without proper licenses.

The lawsuits, filed in the United States and Germany, seek financial damages for past use and injunctions to halt sales of unlicensed BlackBerry phones and PlayBook tablets.

"Litigation was regrettably our last resort after RIM declined to pay for the use of Dolby’s technology," San Francisco-based Dolby’s general counsel, Andy Sherman, said in a statement on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for RIM declined to comment on the litigation, citing company policy.

Dolby said its patented technologies provide the core of an audio compression standard widely used in smartphones, portable music players and tablet computers, allowing them to offer high-quality audio using limited transmission and storage space.

It said all other major smartphone makers have licensed the technology from Dolby.

Patent fights are increasingly common among technology companies since Apple Inc and Google expanded quickly into smartphones at the expense of older players.

RIM, along with Apple, is awaiting a final judgment due this month from the U.S. International Trade Commission on whether the companies camera-enabled phones infringe a patent belonging to Eastman Kodak related to a method for previewing images.

Meanwhile, Nokia won a licensing victory over Apple on Tuesday and Google is the frontrunner to buy thousands of patents from Canada’s bankrupt Nortel Networks.

Shares of RIM, which reports quarterly results on Thursday, were flat at a two-year low of $35.70 on Nasdaq on Wednesday morning. Dolby’s stock dipped 0.7 percent at $43.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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