Nokia Makes License Deal with NTP
By Eric Lin, Tue Jun 15 21:30:00 GMT 2004
In an effort to route around RIM's legal troubles with NTP that may prevent it from selling Blackberries in the US, Nokia has licensed the patents in question from NTP.
Nokia is attempting to launch Blackberry service on their handset in the US, despite RIM's legal battles. Today Nokia announced it is licensing the five patents at the center of NTP's suit against RIM. With this agreement, Nokia should be able to launch Blackberry capable devices in the US without any fear of legal retribution from NTP, no matter what the outcome of the RIM lawsuit.
Nokia was one of the first handset manufacturers to license the Blackberry technology. Since then nearly every other brand has licensed it, however none of them have handsets that are compatible with RIM's push email service out of the box. In order to launch any Blackberry products in the US, companies that have already licensed the software will need to wait until the case is decided, or follow Nokia's lead and license the patents from NTP. It will probably be economically beneficial for them to enter into agreements before the case is decided, unless any believe that RIM has the stronger chance of winning.
With the agreements in place, Nokia states it plans to launch a Blackberry capable 6820 in the US within 2-3 months. The 6820 is already available here, but no mention is made of the Blackberry software on the US product pages. It is, however, prominently featured on the European model's webpage. PalmOne has also demonstrated Blackberry software running on the Treo 600, and are no doubt eager to launch it as well. No word on whether it is hot on Nokia's heels to make a deal with NTP as well.