* Dolby technologies compress audio for personal gadgets
* Says all other major smartphone makers already licensed
(Adds details, background)
TORONTO, June 15 Dolby Laboratories (DLB.N) has
filed a lawsuit against Research In Motion RIM.TO, alleging
the BlackBerry maker used Dolby's audio compression
technologies in its smartphones and PlayBook tablets without
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
It said all other major smartphone makers have licensed the
technology from Dolby.
Patent fights are increasingly common among technology
companies since Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Google (GOOG.O) 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 EK.N related to a method for
previewing images. [ID:nN25292900]
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 NRTLQ.PK.
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.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Bhaswati
Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and