Research in Motion (RIM) has been fined $147.2 million over a 2008 patent lawsuit. To give you a rough background, the complainant was a company called Mformation Technologies which holds some patents related to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). The patent held by Mformation is with regards to remotely controlling wireless devices via wireless networks, which is basically how RIM’s service works. The court has found RIM to be infringing on the said patents and has fined $8 per BlackBerry device sold in the U.S which sums up to about $147.2 million. Thankfully for RIM, foreign and future BlackBerry smartphone sales weren’t taken into consideration. RIM obviously has filed for an appeal to overturn the ruling, and is fairly confident in being successful at that.
The lawsuit was filed back in 2008, when RIM wasn’t as weak as it is now. So it has taken 4 years to come to a steady ruling, but it doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. RIM defended itself by saying – “Research In Motion has worked hard to develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology”. So RIM clearly disagrees with the ruling.
The company certainly can’t afford a major setback like this given its condition in the market. As Reuters rightly points out, RIM’s stocks have fallen by 70% since the last year alone. The company put up its corporate airliner for sale in an effort to cut costs. The company plans to take drastic measures to decrease spending by up to $1 billion, and that means job cuts as well. So this is basically the last thing that the company could have asked for at this point of time. It’s going to be very hard for the company if the ruling is not overturned. All hopes are on the new BlackBerry 10 OS smartphones that are slated to arrive early next year. We will get to see a lot of RIM related info in the coming days, even more so with this lawsuit having picked up pace.