Judge Hits RIM With $147.2 Million Penalty In Patent Litigation

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A judge in northern California has ordered Research In Motion (RIM) to pay $147.2 million as a penalty over patent litigation regarding a remote management system for wireless devices.  Mformation Technologies Inc. was the plaintiff in this case.  The verdict was reported on Friday at a federal court in San Francisco.

This is a major blow to the company, especially since their stock price has fallen over 70% in the past year.  Mformation attorney Amar Thakur said that the jury direct RIM to pay an $8 royalty for every BlackBerry device that was connected to RIM’s enterprise server software.  This is what brought the total payment to $147.2 million.

The verdict only covers sales in the U.S. through trial and not future or foreign damages.  RIM has pending legal motions that could overturn this verdict.

“Research In Motion has worked hard to develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology,” stated RIM spokeswoman Crystal Roberts.

Mformation filed a lawsuit against RIM in 2008 and they brought claims on a patent for a process that remotely manages a wireless device over a wireless network.  Mformation helps companies manage their smartphone inventory and helps companies with remote fixes and upgrades.  Some of Mformation’s clients include AT&T and Sprint.

RIM tried to argue that Mformation’s patent claims are invalid because the processes were already being used when the company filed their patent applications.  The jury met over four days this week before handing down their verdict.

The case was filed under the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Mformation Technologies Inc. vs. Research in Motion Ltd. et al., 08-04990.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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