RIM Dodges $147 Million Bullet

Published on August 9, 2012
by John Paczkowski

So much for Mformation’s $147.2 million patent victory against Research In Motion.

A U.S. District Court has overturned the trial verdict, ruling that there wasn’t enough evidence to support it. “The court finds that there was no ‘legally sufficient evidentiary basis’ on which a reasonable jury could have found for Mformation on the issue of infringement,” U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware wrote in his ruling.

Ware’s decision is a rare piece of good news for RIM, whose value has dropped nearly 80 percent over the past year as it struggles to regain traction in a smartphone market that has lapped it. The jury verdict that found RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server infringed on Mformation patents ordered it to pay damages of $8 each for 18.4 million BES units it had sold was an ugly blow delivered at a bad time, and RIM is justifiably overjoyed to see it tossed.

Of course, Mformation can appeal. But that will require a renewed and concerted effort, as Judge Ware also granted RIM’s motion seeking a new trial if his ruling should be overturned by a higher court. That means Mformation can’t simply have the $147.2 million jury award reinstated. Instead, it must make its case all over again in a new jury trial.

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