A California jury returned a verdict of $147.2 million last month against Research in Motion Ltd. in a lawsuit involving a patent dispute. The suit, filed by Mformation Technologies, Inc., was over a remote management system for wireless devices. This verdict, returned in a San Francisco federal court, comes at a bad time for RIM, whose stock has fallen more than 70% in the past year. Customers have moved to Apple’s iPhone and a number of devices using Google Inc.’s Android software. As a result, Blackberry sales have suffered.
The jury directed RIM to pay an $8 royalty for every BlackBerry device connected to RIM’s enterprise server software, which brings the total award to $147.2 million. The verdict only covers U.S. sales through the date of trial, and not future or foreign damages. According to Research In Motion, it has worked hard to develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology.
Mformation, based in Waterloo, Ontario, sued RIM in 2008, bringing claims on a patent for a process that remotely manages a wireless device over a wireless network. According to its web site, Mformation helps corporations manage their smart phone inventory. The company also says it helps telecoms operators, such as AT&T and Sprint, with remote fixes and upgrades for users’ gadgets. RIM claimed that Mformation’s patent claims are invalid because the processes were already being used when Mformation filed its patent application. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Mformation Technologies Inc. vs. Research in Motion Ltd.
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