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Visto settles e-mail suit with Seven

One of the many companies defending itself against a patent lawsuit filed by Visto has settled for an undisclosed amount.

Visto erased one of its patent lawsuits Tuesday, settling all claims against Seven in exchange for a licensing deal.

Last year Visto won a jury verdict against Seven, as well as $7.7 million in damages and an injunction against the sale of Seven's products that was stayed pending appeals. At the time Seven had expressed hope of overturning Visto's patents, but it has since thrown in the towel and will now license Visto's patent portfolio, the two companies announced in a press release Tuesday.

Sound familiar? It seems that patent lawyers are making just as much money off mobile push e-mail as technology companies. Research In Motion (RIM), the giant in this field, fought a long-running patent battle against NTP that it eventually settled for $612.5 million. RIM is also a defendant against Visto, as part of a notable group that includes Microsoft and Motorola's Good Technology subsidiary. Visto and NTP have separate patent portfolios but have signed a cross-licensing deal, aligning both Davids against the Goliaths.

Visto, like the other companies, develops software that "pushes" corporate e-mail to mobile devices as it arrives, instead of the user having to log into an e-mail server to retrieve messages. The company's software is not used very widely in the U.S., where the BlackBerry dominates, but Visto has cut deals with some carriers in Europe.