TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO rose more than 4 percent early on Monday after iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O) won a crucial victory in a patent dispute with Samsung that could disrupt the balance of power in the ultra-competitive smartphone sector.
Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages by a U.S. jury on Friday after they found that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) had copied important features of the iPhone and iPad. The verdict could lead to an outright ban on sales of products made by the world's largest smartphone maker.
The ruling is a major setback for Samsung and other device makers like it that use Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android operating system, which powers the vast majority of smartphones sold across the globe.
The ruling gives a big boost to Apple, but it also potentially benefits BlackBerry maker RIM RIMM.O and Nokia NOK1V.HE. RIM uses its own operating system and is preparing for the launch of its next generation of devices powered by the new BlackBerry 10, or BB10, operating system in early 2013.
Both RIM and Nokia, which is the largest producer of Windows phones that run on software created by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), have struggled against Samsung's Android-powered devices that have taken the market by storm.
"A slowdown in Android activity due to patent uncertainty and possible injunctions could open a window of opportunity for the coming Windows 8 and BlackBerry 10 platforms," said Baird Equity analyst William Power in a note to clients.
"Any negative repercussions for Android could be construed as directionally positive for Nokia and RIM, though both still face an uphill battle in our judgment," he said.
Shares of RIM, which rose more than 4 percent at open on Monday, were up 2.3 percent at $7.10 at 1010 EDT on the Nasdaq, while its Canadian-listed shares were up 2 percent at C$7.02.
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty