Dolby Sues Research In Motion Over Audio Compression TechnologyThe noise has cleared but Research In Motion (RIM) may not like what it hears. Dolby has just filed lawsuits in District Court of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the maker of the popular business mobile device Blackberry.

Is RIM Not Playing by the Rules with Dolby

Dolby is a familiar name, but you may not know what they do specifically. The company specializes in audio noise reduction, encoding and compression. Additionally, Dolby has said that its technology is the foundation of the Hi-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE AAC) standard. HE ACC is an international standard that many consumer electronics use to compress to less than 10 percent of the original size and play back music.

Dolby is alleging RIM violates patents for digital audio compression that reduces the transmission and/or storage space required for audio. Licensing for the  technology makes up 86 percent of the Dolby’s revenues so the company definitely does not want to set a bad precedent by allowing RIM to use the software for free.  

Everyone Else Plays Nice

Dolby believes that RIM uses their patented technology in handsets and the new RIM tablet Playbook. Dolby says other major smartphone manufacturers have agreed to license Dolby’s, but not RIM. Dolby is seeking reimbursement for financial damages  as well as injunctions against RIM to prevent them  from selling products that it claims infringes on its patent rights.

We'll keep an eye on this lawsuit as it could have far reaching implications for RIM devices.