RIM signs licencing agreement for Dolby Labs' audio technology

"We are pleased to welcome RIM into Dolby's family of mobile technology licencees. We believe in and will continue to protect the value of our intellectual property," Dolby Executive Vice-President and General Counsel Andy Sherman said in a statement issued here.

RIM obtained its licence through Via Licencing Corporation, a Dolby subsidiary that licences patents essential to High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE AAC) international standards on behalf of multiple essential patent owners.

Dolby's patented audio compression technologies contribute to that standard.

HE AAC enables highly efficient digital audio compression, which allows manufacturers and consumers to provide and enjoy high quality audio while using extremely limited amounts of transmission and/or storage space for such audio, such as in the case of mobile phones.
RIM employs HE AAC technologies in its Blackberry smartphones and Playbook tablet devices.

On June 15, 2011, Dolby had filed lawsuits against RIM that focused on RIM's use of Dolby's industry-leading audio technologies without a licencing agreement and payment of corresponding royalties.

The suits were filed in the US District Court in San Francisco and in the Mannheim District Court in Mannheim, Germany.

The licence agreement is on the standard terms offered by Via Licensing and covers the implementation of the HE AAC standard, including the use of Dolby's audio compression technologies in RIM's smartphones and tablet devices.

Via Licencing Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories that was formed in 2002 to develop and administer licencing programmes for mandated, de facto, and emerging standards on behalf of innovative technology companies in the audio, broadcast, wireless, and automotive markets.

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