Announced today, Dolby Laboratories has sued Research in Motion (RIM) for patent infringement in the U.S. and Germany. The company is suing to halt sales of unlicensed BlackBerry and Playbook devices as well as monetary damages for past use.
“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. “We have a duty to protect our intellectual property.”
The patents specifically in question are Dolby’s highly efficient digital audio compression technologies, which have been incorporated into the international standard known as High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE AAC). HE AAC gives manufactures the ability to provide extremely limited amounts of transmission and/or storage space for high quality audio.
RIM uses Dolby’s patented technologies in its Blackberry smart phones and Playbook tablet devices and hasn’t obtained licenses from Dolby according to the legal documents. Meanwhile, all other major smart phone makers have agreed to license these specific Dolby technologies. We’ve reached out to RIM for a response and will update if we hear back.