RIM pays $612.5m to settle Blackberry patent dispute

RIM pays $612.5m to settle Blackberry patent dispute

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian maker of the Blackberry handheld device, has agreed to pay $612.5m to settle its long-running patent infringement dispute with US-based NTP.

The settlement resolves a four year dispute between the firms and stems from a 2002 case when NTP successfully sued RIM for patent infringement. In 2003 NTP won an injunction to halt US sales of the Blackberry device and shut down the service, but the ruling was delayed pending an appeal.

The dispute was nearly settled when the two firms agreed a $450 million deal in March last year, but the agreement later fell through. NTP later asked a US District Court to issue an injunction to shut down the Blackberry service while it tried to enforce the deal.

But last week US District Court Judge James Spencer rejected the injunction and urged the two firms to settle the dispute out of court.

Under the settlement deal, RIM says it will make a one-time payment of $612.5m in a "full and final settlement" with NTP and will licence the wireless technology going forward.

The licence agreement permits RIM and its partners to sell products, services and infrastructure completely free and clear of any claim by NTP, including any claims that NTP may have against wireless carriers, ISV partners or against third party products that use RIM's BlackBerry Connect/BlackBerry built-in technology.

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