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Patent scrap loser RIM ordered to cough up $147m

Will BlackBerry maker ever catch a break?

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RIM has been ordered to pay up $147.2m (£94.3m) for violating a patent covering device management.

A court in the US Federal District of Northern California ruled that the troubled handset maker's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) infringed a design owned by Mformation Technologies.

The nine-figure payout was calculated from the sales of BES-connected BlackBerry smartphones in the US since 2008, the year in which Mformation brought its action against RIM. The mobile manufacturer was told to pay an $8 royalty on each of its 18.4 million handsets sold, following the jury's decision.

In a statement, RIM said it was disappointed by the court’s verdict, denied any wrongdoing and is reviewing its options pending additional rulings in the case by the trial judge.

"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," RIM said.

Mformation founder and chief technology officer Rakesh Kushwaha in a statement claimed his company created the mobile device management platform in the late 1990s. The legal action was launched after RIM allegedly used Mformation's technology despite the breakdown of licensing talks between the two companies.

He claimed the company, based in Edison, New Jersey, owned a total of 27 patents that are “central to many critical mobile device management tasks being used by operators, service providers and enterprises around the world, including remote device configuration, lock/wipe and application management”. ®

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