U.S Judge Gives RIM its $147 Million Back in Patent Spat

RIM that is already under a ton of pressure, finally managed to get rid of some of the pressure it was under, by getting a patent verdict against it overturned. The patent was going to cost RIM a total of $147.2 million, which they do not have to worry about, when the court ruled RIM has not infringed on a patent.

A U.S court overturned the ruling, which was made against RIM by Mformation Technologies saying that it is infringed on a patent. The U.S court ruled that RIM no longer has to hand over the jury award of $147.2 million.

This all started back in 2008 when Mformation sued RIM over a patent for the software that remotely manages wireless mobile devices on a network. In July, RIM was told by the jury that it would have to pay $8 for ‘every’ BlackBerry device that is connected to its enterprise server software, it ruled infringement on Mformation’s intellectual property.

However, chills of joy went down RIM’s back yesterday when the U.S Judge, James Ware said that Mformation had failed to establish that RIM infringed on the patent. This was great news for the already struggling RIM, which just managed to keep $147.2 million.

RIM is already struggling to turn its fortunes around and this saving of $147.2 million should come as a huge relief to the company. That is why they were understandably pleased with the outcome of the court ruling yesterday.

“The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals,” Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s chief legal officer, said in a canned statement.

“Many policy makers have already recognized the need to address this problem and we call on others to join them as this case clearly highlights the significant need for continuing policy reform to help reduce the amount of resources wasted on unwarranted patent litigation.”

Mformation can appeal yesterday’s ruling. However, at this stage and in the legalities, a successful appeal from Mformation would lead to a new trial, which will not give it millions of dollars straight away. So, RIM can breathe freely for a while and wait for Mformation’s next move in this regard.

RIM is already struggling in the smart phone industry, with a few handsets still to come, the company faced difficult times during the past few quarters as its sales are dropping, and the company struggles to bring back the customers it once had. RIM was blinded by its own achievements and overlooked the possibility to bring innovation, which Apple and Android did not hesitate to exploit to take over the smart phone industry.

It may seem as if everyone is trying to take advantage of RIM recently, but with its new smart phones to arrive in the market, it just might get back into the smart phone game and show other manufacturers how it’s really played. But for that to happen, RIM would really have to up the game a lot to beat its giant competitors who are dominating the marketing at the moment.


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