Dutch chip maker, NXP, sues RIM

Dutch chip maker NXP has piled on tons more woe onto RIM by suing the company for patent infringement.

According to the Economic Times, NXP Semiconductors claims that RIM’s BlackBerry phone and PlayBook tablet infringed on patents issued to it between 1997 and 2008. The lawsuit has caused shares in RIM to fall further as investors feared that it could stuff up any potential sale of the company.

The patents relate to design, data transmission and other features of the devices.

As you would expect, NXP wants hard cash and triple damages for the alleged infringements and RIM needs a case like this as much as it needs a hole in its head.

The company has not had much luck with patent spats. In 2001, a patent case threatened to shut down RIM’s US branch, and the company had to pay out hundreds of millions to make NTP go away.

NXP was spun off from Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV in 2006, and it owns 1,000 issued or pending patents, and generated $4.2 billion of annual revenue.