* RIM infringed patent on remote wireless management-jury
* RIM must pay royalty on each infringing device
* Verdict comes amid serious downturn in RIM business
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, July 13 A northern California
jury directed Research in Motion Ltd to pay $147.2
million in patent litigation over a remote management system for
wireless devices, according to an attorney for the plaintiff,
Mformation Technologies Inc.
The verdict on Friday in a San Francisco federal court comes
at a bad time for RIM, whose stock has fallen more than 70
percent in the past year as customers abandon the BlackBerry in
favor of Apple's iPhone and a slew of devices using
Google Inc's Android software.
Amar Thakur, an attorney for Mformation, said 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 trial, Thakur said, and not future or foreign
RIM spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said the company has pending
legal motions that could overturn the verdict.
"Research In Motion has worked hard to develop its
leading-edge BlackBerry technology," Roberts said in a
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM last month posted its first
operating loss in eight years, and it was much deeper than
expected. The company also said it was cutting 5,000 jobs,
almost a third of its workforce, as it struggles win back its
reputation as an industry innovator.
Mformation sued RIM in 2008, bringing claims on a patent for
a process that remotely manages a wireless device over a
wireless network, a court filing says. According to its web
site, Mformation helps corporations manage their smartphone
inventory. The company also says it helps telecoms operators,
such as AT&T and Sprint, with remote fixes and upgrades for
RIM argued that Mformation's patent claims are invalid
because the processes were already being used when Mformation
filed its patent application.
The jury deliberated for four days this week before handing
down its verdict, Thakur said.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California is Mformation Technologies Inc. vs. Research in
Motion Ltd. et al., 08-04990.