RIM lost a contract dispute over use of Nokia patents.

RIMHelsiniki: Canada’s Research In Motion (RIM) has lost a contract dispute over the use of Nokia patents in a case which could stop sales of its BlackBerry phones if it does not reach a deal to pay royalties to the Finnish company.

On Wednesday Nokia said that “RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia.”

Wireless local access network (WLAN) technologies, generally marketed under the WiFi brand, are used across BlackBerry devices and by most other smartphones.

Nokia, which is trying to enhance its royalty income as its phone business slides, said that it had filed cases in US, Britain and Canada to impose the arbitrator’s ruling.

IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo said that “This could have a significant financial impact to RIM, as all BlackBerry devices support WLAN.” RIM declined to comment.

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