RIM in epic US$267.5m IP payout to Visto

16 Jul 2009

BlackBerry creator Research in Motion (RIM) has agreed to pay rival mobile software maker Visto US$267.5m to settle an outstanding global patent litigation battle between the two companies.

RIM makes the ubiquitous BlackBerry messaging device and smartphone, while rival Visto creates software that turns mobile phones into email clients.

The key terms of the settlement involve RIM receiving a perpetual and fully paid licence on all Visto patents, a transfer of certain Visto intellectual property (IP), a one-time payment by RIM of US$267.5m, and the parties executing full and final releases in respect of all outstanding worldwide litigation.

The settlement is expected to be completed during the week of 20 July.

RIM expects the majority of the payment to be expensed as an “unusual item” in its second-quarter results.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: RIM’s smartphone, the BlackBerry Bold