Ina Fried

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RIM Gets Access to Intellectual Ventures’ Pile of Patents

Research In Motion has struck a deal with patent collector Intellectual Ventures that will give the BlackBerry maker access to more patents.

With the deal, RIM will now have access to Intellectual Ventures’ collection of 30,000 patents as it winds its way through the murky litigious waters of the smartphone market. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Intellectual Ventures offers an efficient way to access the invention rights companies need to stay competitive within the market,” Intellectual Ventures’s telecom licensing head Mario Obeidat said in a statement Wednesday. “RIM has always been an innovator on the forefront of the mobile communications world, and by becoming a licensing customer of IV, they can have access to a broader set of patents to assist them in the management of their IP-related business matters.”

RIM knows firsthand what it is like to be on the wrong side of a patent infringement verdict, having been through a long and costly battle with NTP.

The smartphone market battle continues to be fought in the courthouse as well as in the marketplace. Apple and Nokia are locked in courtroom battles, as are Microsoft and Motorola, and Google and Oracle, just to name a few.

Intellectual Ventures, the IP shop started by former Microsoft exec Nathan Myhrvold, has thousands of patents, including at least some in the smartphone space.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle