The New York Times is reporting that RIM has been found liable of infringing software patents held by Mformation Technologies. There goes $US147 million in damages for the BlackBerry manufacturer — more cash it can't afford to lose.
A piece of software offered by RIM, called BlackBerry Enterprise Server, lets companies manage their workers' BlackBerry devices remotely. Jurors in San Francisco, however, have determined that it infringes patents held by Mformation. It's been a long process. Back in 2008, Mformation sued RIM for infringing two patents. From the NYT:
The company claimed it had disclosed details of the technology to RIM during licensing discussions. After declining to take a licence, the BlackBerry maker modified its software to include the patented systems, Mformation said in its complaint. RIM denied wrongdoing and said the patents were invalid, according to court filings.
Sadly for RIM, the jury found that it had to pay Mformation a royalty of $US8 for each of the 18.4 million units sold, giving a grand damages total of $US147.2 million. It's news that RIM could do without. Coming on the back of a disastrous quarter, the news makes RIM's uncertain future look all the more precarious. [New York Times]