Canadian Manufacturing

Patent infringement verdict against RIM overturned, $147M award vacated

California judge overturned July ruling in favour of Mformation, company says



Waterloo, Ont.—Research in Motion (RIM) has announced a California judge overturned the ruling in a recent patent infringement case and vacated a $147.2-million jury award for Mformation Technologies.

It’s but a small victory in an ongoing war of attrition for the much-maligned device maker, as the overturned decision comes as RIM undergoes a rigorous restructuring plan that includes 5,000 layoffs in a bid to save $1-billion in operating costs.

“RIM did not infringe on Mformation’s patent and we are pleased with this victory,” RIM’s chief legal officer Steve Zipperstein said in a statement. “The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals.”

The patent action—brought forward by New Jersey-based device management firm Mformation Technologies in 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California—claimed RIM infringed on a remote device management system over a wireless network.

A ruling against RIM was announced July 14, 2012, when a jury decided the company would pay Mformation an $8 royalty for each BlackBerry running on its remote server software, bringing the total to $147.2-million.

According to RIM, though, a judge has concluded evidence did not support the jury’s finding of patent infringement.

Mformation has the right to appeal the ruling, however, if successful, the jury verdict would not be reinstated and instead a new trial would take place.

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