RIM to Pay $147 Million in Wireless Patent Lawsuit

Blackberry maker RIM has been ordered by a Northern California jury to pay $147.2 million in a patent infringement lawsuit. The lawsuit had been filed by Mformation Technologies Inc., and involved a remote management system for wireless devices.

The lawsuit had been filed by Mformation Technologies Inc against RIM in 2008. The lawsuit involved a patent for a process that allows the remote management of wireless devices over a wireless network. RIM argued that Mformation’s claims of patent sharing are not valid because the processes were already in use at RIM, when Mformation filed its patent application.

The verdict was delivered by a San Francisco federal court. California patent infringement lawyers believe that this verdict deals a solid blow to RIM. The company will be required to pay royalty fees of $8 on every Blackberry device that is connected to RIM’s enterprise server software. The total award therefore totals of 147.2 million, covering all American sales, and not any future foreign sales.

The verdict couldn’t come at a worse time for RIN, which has been battling falling stock prices, and dropping support for the Blackberry phone. RIM stock has fallen by more than 70% over the past 12 months alone. Moreover, many customers are now abandoning the once-iconic Blackberry in favor of the iPhone and a number of other android-based devices by Google.

In recent weeks, RIM has struggled with a series of operating and financial losses. Last month, the company posted its first operating loss in 8 years. Those have been substantial losses, and have also come in the midst of massive job cuts at the company.

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