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Lawsuits in Motion settles one more lawsuit

RIM back on legal form after a long layoff

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Research in Motion of BlackBerry fame has agreed to a patent-dispute settlement in the latest chapter of the long-running saga of RIM versus world+dog.

RIM and its antagonist du jour, Visto Corporation, released a joint statement on Thursday announcing that RIM would pay Visto $267.5m (£230m) to bring an end to their long-running patent dispute, begun in 2006, with the Canadian BlackBerry-maker receiving "a perpetual and fully-paid license on all Visto patents [and] a transfer of certain Visto intellectual property."

If news of a RIM patent dispute sounds like a bit of déjà vu all over again, it's more than understandable - Research in Motion has richly earned its sobriquet of Lawsuits in Motion.

A brief waltz through Reg pages past provides highlights of RIM's legendary litigiousness. For example, the company sued Handspring in 2002 and settled later that year, sued Good Technology in 2002 and settled in 2004, sued Samsung in 2006 and settled in 2007.

RIM also sued Xerox in 2003 and LG in 2007, with results still to be determined.

The Canadians haven't always been the aggressor, however. RIM was sued for patent infringement by Luxembourg-based InPro II Licensing in 2003, which resulted in a torturous legal battle that was eventually laid to rest in 2007 in RIM's favor.

Perhaps the most convoluted of RIM's legal battles was its fight with US intellectual property holding company NTP, which sued RIM in 2002 and won. RIM appealed but lost in 2004, settled in 2005 - then sued NTP later that year and settled in 2006.

Although Thursday's annoucement of a settlement with Visto seems to bring an end to that particular tussle, there's still a slight possibility that more entertainment might be in the offing, seeing as how the joint statement notes that "The settlement is expected to be completed during the week of July 20, 2009 and is subject to certain closing conditions."

Should those "certain closing conditions" prove problematic, the legal team at Lawsuits in Motion could be up and at 'em again. ®

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