RIM wins patent for BlackBerry mailbox system

Mobile e-mail device maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) announced Thursday it had been granted a U.S. patent for connecting multiple devices via a single electronic address.

RIM’s BlackBerry Single Mailbox Integration patent, number 6,219,694, covers the process of redirecting information between a host computer system like an office PC or server and a mobile communications device like a BlackBerry wireless e-mail device or other wireless handheld while maintaining a common electronic address between the host system and mobile device.

RIM immediately announced it had also filed suit against rival mobile telecommunication device maker Glenayre Electronics Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware for infringing on its patent, as well as for dilution, unfair competition and false advertising.

“Glenayre has been an aggressor toward RIM in the past, and is imitating our technology currently,” said Mark Guibert, RIM’s vice president of brand management.

The patent grant by the U.S. Patent Office means RIM potentially could collect royalties from other mobile device makers like cell phone companies or personal digital assistant manufacturers hoping to incorporate similar capabilities into their products.

While a RIM executive said it is too soon to tell how the patent will affect other company’s products, RIM hopes to license its technology. “RIM absolutely intends to license Single Mailbox Integration technology,” Guibert said. “Our focus is seeking substantial players that can offer high qualities of service.”

RIM, based in Waterloo, Ont., can be contacted at http://www.rim.net/.