RIM shots: Stock sinking, must pay Nokia over patents

A double whammy for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion:

• RIM shares are plunging, down about 19 percent to $11.35 on the Nasdaq as of this post, amid concerns about a new service revenue model the Canadian company announced Thursday along with its earnings. RIM reported better-than-expected third-quarter results but 1 million fewer subscribers — the first time it has lost subscribers, the largest chunk of them in North America. CEO Thorsten Heins also said the company is changing the way it charges fees to customers using its proprietary network, something the Wall Street Journal says could threaten a stable source of cash.

RIM is scheduled to roll out its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, which analysts see as vital to the company’s future, next year. Carriers are now testing the phones.

• Wait, there’s more: RIM and Nokia have agreed to a patent-licensing deal that ends all litigation between the two companies, which are both struggling in the smartphone industry. Under the confidential deal, RIM will pay Nokia a one-time amount — one analyst told Bloomberg it could be several hundred million euros — plus ongoing fees. Nokia is a leading patent holder in the wireless industry. The Associated Press points out that the Finnish company has secured royalties from Apple and has pending claims against HTC and Viewsonic.

 

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