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RIM expands licensing deal with InterDigital to cover 4G LTE tech

The company has extended an existing agreement to cover a crucial element of its next-generation smartphones, due out later this month.


Research In Motion and InterDigital have extended an existing patent licensing agreement to cover 4G LTE technology.

Under the deal announced today, RIM will be able to use InterDigital's patents in its upcoming line of BlackBerry 10 products, which are set to debut later this month.

The deal comes just a few weeks after RIM settled a patent dispute with Nokia. In that case, RIM agreed to a one-time payment to Nokia and ongoing royalties for the use of its technology.

RIM is clearing the decks of any complications as it focuses on what is possibly the most important product launch in the company's history. The success or failure of the first wave of BlackBerry 10 smartphones will go a long way toward determining whether RIM still has a place in the mobile game.

Having 4G LTE is necessary in any standard smartphone nowadays, and RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has admitted in the past that one of his company's missteps has been its slow move toward adding 4G to its products. It's a safe bet that the coming round of BlackBerrys will have 4G LTE access.

InterDigital, a wireless R&D company based in Philadelphia, sees the agreement as a further validation of its patent portfolio and licensing program.