RIM loses patent case, ordered to pay US$147.2m

16 Jul 2012

RIM's headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said it is evaluating all legal options after a jury found the company liable for US$147.2m in damages for infringing patents held by Mformation Technologies.

“Additionally, the trial judge has yet to decide certain legal issues that might impact the verdict. RIM will await those rulings before deciding whether to pursue an appeal,” RIM said in a statement.

Jurors in San Francisco, California, determined late Friday that RIM’s remote device management software, called BlackBerry Enterprise Server, infringed on Mformation patents and awarded damages of US$8 for each of the 18.4m units that have been sold.

Mformation sued RIM in 2008, accusing the company of infringing two patents. RIM declined to license the technology and then modified its software to include the patented technology, Mformation alleged.

“Our legal system allows small businesses to protect their patented inventions against unauthorised use by large corporations,” said Mformation lead attorney Amar Thakur of Foley & Lardner, LLP. “Today the legal system worked and inventors everywhere should feel encouraged by the court’s conclusion.”

RIM said it has worked hard for years to independently develop its BlackBerry technology and intellectual property portfolio.

“RIM does not believe that the Mformation patent in question is valid,” said RIM.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic