Motorola, RIM settle patent dispute

Smartphone makers settle skirmish over wireless tech, with a transfer of certain patents to each other and a payment and ongoing royalties to Motorola.

Motorola and Research In Motion have settled their patent dispute over wireless technologies, the companies said Friday.

Under the settlement, both companies will set up a cross-licensing agreement in which they will receive patent rights related to certain key technologies and industry standards, including 2G, 3G, 4G, 802.11, and wireless e-mail. The two will also transfer certain patents directly to each other.

Additionally, RIM has promised to provide an upfront payment and ongoing royalties to Motorola. Further details were not disclosed, but the companies confirmed that the agreement puts an end to all litigation between them.

The dispute became official in January when Motorola filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that BlackBerry-maker RIM was infringing on five Motorola patents. As a penalty, Motorola had been asking the ITC to ban imports of BlackBerry phones into the U.S.

The patents in question related to Wi-Fi technology, application management, user interface, and power management. Motorola claimed that RIM once held a license for the technologies in dispute but had lost its licensing deal in 2007.

RIM is still contending with another complaint filed with the ITC in which Eastman Kodak alleges that RIM and Apple have been infringing on a Kodak patent related to digital imaging technology. The ITC is investigating Kodak's allegations.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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