Dolby Laboratories today announced that it has filed patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. and Germany against Research In Motion (RIM) that seek the recovery of financial damages and injunctions to halt sales of the many RIM products that infringe Dolby’s audio-compression patents.
Dolby claims RIM infringes Dolby patents digital audio compression technologies, which allow high quality audio while using limited amounts of transmission and/or storage space for such audio. The company claims RIM employs its patented technologies in its BlackBerry smartphones and Playbook tablet devices, without having obtained licenses from Dolby.
RIM declined to comment and has yet to release any official statement regarding the litigation.
In a press release, Dolby notes that “all other major smart phone makers have agreed to license the Dolby technologies which are the subject of this litigation.”
Dolby has generated $402.8 million in revenue over the first two fiscal quarters of 2011 by licensing its various audio compression and enhancement technologies.
Dolby’s patented technologies, which have been incorporated into the international standard known as High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE AAC), provide the core of HE AAC. HE AAC is widely used in consumer electronics devices such as smartphones, portable music players and computer tablets to play back music and other digitized audio that has been compressed to less than 10 percent of its original digital file size.
“Litigation was regrettably our last resort after RIM declined to pay for the use of Dolby’s technology,” said Andy Sherman, executive vice president and general counsel of Dolby, in a statement. “We have a duty to protect our intellectual property.”
The U.S. lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The German lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany.
Filed Under: Industry regulations