RIM ordered to pay $147M for patent infringement

Jury rules that the BlackBerry maker infringed on patents owned by Mformation that let companies remotely manage employees' devices.

A jury has found Research In Motion liable for $147.2 million in damages for infringing on patents owned by Mformation Technologies.

Jurors in U.S. District Court in Northern California determined late Friday that RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server -- software that lets companies remotely manage employees' devices -- infringed on Mformation patents and awarded damages of $8 for each of the 18.4 million units sold.

Mformation sued RIM in 2008, accusing the troubled BlackBerry maker of infringing on two patents after being briefed on the technology. RIM declined to license the technology and then modified its software to include the patented technology, Mformation alleged.

The troubled BlackBerry maker said in a statement it was disappointed in the jury's decision and was weighing its options.

"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," the company said.

Mformation applauded the jury's decision as key to the future of mobile device management.

"We ensured that our early innovations in device management were put through rigorous legal assessment by applying for patents on these innovations in the United States and abroad," Mformation founder and CTO Rakesh Kushwaha said in a statement. "With a total of 27 patents granted or pending, our IP portfolio will allow us to continue to shape the future of the Mobile Device Management market."

The judgment comes at a bad time for RIM. The company has been struggling to regain lost market share and sales of its once-popular BlackBerry devices, but it's not having much luck in an industry ruled by Apple and Android.

The BlackBerry maker reported a first-quarter loss last month of $518 million, or 99 cents a share, on revenue of $2.8 billion, down 33 percent from $4.2 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted loss, which excludes goodwill charges, was $192 million, or 37 cents a share. Wall Street had been expecting a loss of 4 cents a share on revenue of $3.07 billion.

 

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