Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

RIM fined $8 per phone in patent violation ruling

Out-Law News | 16 Jul 2012 | 4:28 pm |

Blackberry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) has been fined $147 million by a Californian court over a patent violation. RIM said that it did not believe the patent in question is valid and is "evaluating all legal options".

RIM's Blackberry Enterprise Server software was found by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to have violated a patent held by Mformation Technologies. Mformation's lawyer told the Reuters news agency that the court had fined RIM $8 for each of the 18.4 million phones that were sold since Mformation brought its case.

"RIM is disappointed by the outcome and is evaluating all legal options," said a company statement. "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 has worked hard for many years to independently develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology and industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, and RIM does not believe that the Mformation patent in question is valid," it said.

Mformation said that the patent related to 'mobile device management', which it said is crucial to the operation of wireless information services.

"Mformation ... was innovating in this area well before most of the market understood the fundamental importance of wireless mobility management," said Mformation founder Rakesh Kushwaha. "These patented technologies are central to many critical mobile device management tasks being used by operators, service providers and enterprises around the world, including remote device configuration, lock/wipe and application management."