A US judge has overturned a patent infringement ruling against Research in Motion (RIM), saving the firm from the $147.2m fine that had originally been imposed.
Judge James Ware said that based on the evidence presented, the jury was wrong to find RIM guilty of patent infringement against device management firm Mformation, and annulled the fine.
“We appreciate the judge’s careful consideration of this case. RIM did not infringe on Mformation’s patent and we are pleased with this victory,” said Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s chief legal officer.
Mformation brought the case against RIM, arguing that technology in its BlackBerry Enterprise Server system, used to send secure messages for governments and large enterprises, infringed on mobile management patents it held.
The $147.2m award was based on royalty payments the Mformation would have been due, dating back to 2008.
The judge's decision will be a welcome fillip for RIM. While $147m represents a drop in the ocean compared to the losses racked up by the troubled BlackBerry maker in recent quarters, it does at least give RIM more breathing space.
The firm has seen its market share annihilated by competitors such as Apple and Samsung in recent years. Meanwhile, the platform that was meant to get it back in the game, BlacKBerry 10, has been delayed until the year's end at the earliest.
Mformation could still appeal the judge's decision. However, If successful, this would lead to a retrial rather than the jury's fine being simply reinstated.
Mformation had not responded to V3's request for comment at the time of publication.
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