RIM turns around patent verdict

Research In Motion has managed to overturn a California jury’s verdict in a patent trial.
The company said in a news release this morning that last month’s US$147.2 million jury award for violating a patent held by Mformation Technologies was dismissed by a U.S. District Court because the evidence didn’t support the verdict.
The jury found that RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server infringed on a patent held by Mformation.
After the jury reached its decision July 14, RIM argued before the trial judge that the verdict was inconsistent with the evidence. After considering counter-arguments from Mformation, the judge ruled in the Canadian company’s favour.
In a news release announcing the finding RIM noted that Mformation has the right to appeal. But, it said, if the U.S. company wins the outcome would be a new trial.
“We appreciate the judge’s careful consideration of this case,” RIM’s chief legal officer Steve Zipperstein said in the release. “RIM did not infringe on Mformation’s patent and we are pleased with this victory. The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals. Many policy makers have already recognized the need to address this problem and we call on others to join them as this case clearly highlights the significant need for continuing policy reform to help reduce the amount of resources wasted on unwarranted patent litigation.”
Mformation makes mobile device management solutions for enterprises, managed service providers and mobile operators. In a statement CEO Todd DeLaughter said the company is “deeply disappointed that the court would overturn a jury verdict after a month of trial, including a week of thoughtful deliberation by a jury.
“We steadfastly believe that RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server software product infringes Mformation’s ‘917 patent and that courts will ultimately rule in our favour. We are assessing all legal options available to us and will determine the next steps shortly.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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