BlackBerry maker ordered to pay out millions

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REUTERS

Ottawa - A California jury has ordered BlackBerry maker Research in Motion to pay $147.2 million in damages for infringing on a patent for remote management of wireless devices, RIM announced on Saturday.

“RIM is disappointed by the outcome and is evaluating all legal options,” the Canadian company said in a statement.

Edison, New Jersey-based software firm Mformation sued RIM in 2008 in US District Court in San Francisco, claiming it had disclosed details of its technology to RIM during licensing discussions.

After choosing to not buy a license, RIM modified its software to include Mformation's patented systems allowing companies to manage workers' mobile devices from an enterprise server, Mformation said in its complaint.

RIM denied any wrongdoing and said the patents were invalid.

“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.

In its verdict released late Friday, the jury directed RIM to pay an $8 (about R60) royalty for every mobile device in the United States connected to a BlackBerry enterprise server. The verdict does not cover foreign damages.

RIM noted that the trial judge has yet to decide “certain legal issues that might impact the verdict.” The company said it will await those rulings before deciding whether to appeal the payout. - Sapa-AFP

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