Mformation Technologies $147.2M patent verdict overturned in favor of Research In Motion

Mformation
By Bla1ze on 9 Aug 2012 06:07 am EDT
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Remember when we let you all know RIM had to pay out $147.2M to Mformation for what they described as violation of remote device management patents held by Mformation Technologies on BlackBerry smartphones? Well, RIM had a chance to appeal and this time around, the odds were with them.

The original judgement had RIM responsible for a $147.2M payout to Mformation Technologies based on a per unit amount of $8 for 18.4M BlackBerry smartphones but that is no more as the ruling has been overturned and RIM is not held to the verdict.

Mformation Technologies can appeal but considering the original filing was in 2008 and a new filing can't recount the previous judgement, we're guessing they won't even bother or if they do, it'll be a few years before we hear about it again. Press release is below, should you want to look through it all.

Verdict Overturned in Favor of Research In Motion in Mformation Patent Case

WATERLOO, ONTARIO-- Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM), a world leader in the mobile communications market, today learned that the Judge in a patent action brought by Mformation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted RIM's motion for judgment as a matter of law, concluding that the evidence did not support the Jury's finding of patent infringement.

After considering motions presented by both parties, as well as the jury verdict (which was announced by RIM on July 14, 2012), the Judge determined that RIM had not infringed on Mformation's patent. In granting RIM's motion, the Judge also vacated the $147.2 million jury award, which means that RIM is not required to make any payment to Mformation. Mformation has the right to appeal the Judge's ruling; however if Mformation successfully appeals the ruling, the jury verdict would not be reinstated and instead a new trial would occur.

"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. "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."

About Research In Motion


Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ:RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.

Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used herein, words such as "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "should", "intend," "believe", and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by RIM in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that RIM believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause RIM's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the "Risk Factors" section of RIM's Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on RIM's forward-looking statements. RIM has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM, Research In Motion and BlackBerry are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be pending or registered in other countries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. RIM assumes no obligations or liability and makes no representation, warranty, endorsement or guarantee in relation to any aspect of any third party products or services.

46 comments

yunvi

May the odds forever be in their favour ! TeamBB

mssca

The US vs Canada Women's soccer game should be over turned too. This Olympic games also reflect US influence. China, Korea and Canada were robbed of medals often in favor of US teams.

Call me off-topic, but I am sick and tired criminals of USA. The patents not the only issue that US take advantage out of others.

bradfordjohnson

What about that soccer game was called incorrectly? Hopefully you're not referring to the handball on the direct kick that resulted in USA's PK to tie...

noob_00

I hope they won't appeal the decision but then again patent litigation is apparently in this season

GTiLeo

Atleast there's some good news in Rims favor.

koolrosh

When the ruling came against RIM, the media repeated it all over the internet with headlines like "The troubled Blackberry maker has to pay 150 million". Watch how they will ignore this new bit of information.

houshinto#IM

Of course!

The most we can hope for is that they report it but mention "subtly" that this still doesn't change the death of RIM.

MA5T3R1984

i feel like if there is someone behind all this media bullshit

ottodecesaris

i would like to have a patent on filing patent issues , so that every time these companies file for patent infringement i get a piece of the pie!

BruvvaPete

I patented the phrase "A piece of the pie". Pay up.

rcm1301

Sorry, I have "Piece of Pie" patented in 1965, since yours are similar, you need to pay up. :)

menaknow

Well I patented the ability to post text on a discussion board.

You all owe me...

webosdropout

Somewhere in my filing cabinet, I hold a document that shows I may have invented the roman alphabet.

You all have to come up with some cash if you dont want me to sue y'all.

In the meantime, stop using the keyboard...

noob_00

+10,000 to all the sub replies in this reply.

RicZoh

Great!

I'm sure this story will get printed in all the same spots the first story was. (Shakes head: No)

metz9444

You're right unfortunately. This story doesn't fall in line with the 'oh my god RIM is burning, save yourselves..'trend.

It is amusing reading the part about jury verdict (in Northern California no less) not matching the evidence. I am not a little green men conspiracy guy, but it makes me chuckle.

QuIcKsIlV3r

Well I sent in 5 links to BGR and said look a feel good, RIM survived TIP so I want to see if #1 they post it, and #2 how bad they spin in to a negative if they do post it

robtanz

Headline : "Judge overturns verdict : Doesn't think BB10 will be successful"

QuIcKsIlV3r

BGR's headline ... RIM Dodges a $150 million Bullet... and the article is slightly toned towards being negative as they talking about trimming the bottom line down.

robtanz

Mine was pure speculation based on how I read the news about RIM these days

SuperionMaximus

Well, that's good news! Hope all the big tech blogs who reported the original jury verdict will now report the final decision as well.

Now back to the job at hand, getting BlackBerry 10 finished and out the door!

BruvvaPete

The news outlets that were quick to jump on the original story of how RIM had initially lost the case more likely won't even print this story. Some of them have been writing off RIM for years and don't want egg on their faces (much like the trolls on CB). "Bye hater, bye hater, go!"

janeka

Congrats, Can we get BB10 now please thank you.

jasonvan9

Congrats to RIM on the win, nice to wake up and read a positive story.

Also, does that hand writing seem a bit grade school-ish to you?

kupfernigk

This makes the point why American companies want to hold patent trials (which are highly technical) with a jury. The jury can safely be assumed to be biased in favor of a US company versus a foreign one. But US judges in higher courts are really rather competent, and are, I suspect, well aware that a slew of obviously biased judgements against foreign companies is likely to result in retaliation.

lawguyman

This was not an appeal. The trial judge threw out the jury's verdict.

I doubt very much that RIM being a Canadian company factored into the jury's thinking. But, I agree that juries are unpredictible, especially if the issues are complicated. You never know what the jury hears or finds to be important.

BruvvaPete

You state "This is not an appeal." the post states, in part, "...Well, RIM had a chance to appeal and this time around,..."
How was this not an appeal? One can't relitigate a ruling unless one appeals it.

lawguyman

An appeal is to a different, higher, court. The trial judge simply tossed the jury verdict. This is not an appeal. Just technical stuff.

kupfernigk

Where did I say it was? I did not. I merely remarked that US judges can be expected to be far more competent than US juries, and that is, I suspect, why so many companies want jury trials. You only have to read internet posts about patent and trademark cases to realise that many people have strong views on the subject, but actually haven't a clue.

As for your views on jury thinking, I have to suggest that someone who cannot parse a simple post of a few sentences correctly is not the best person to be giving advice.

lawguyman

Dude: You wrote about "US judges in higher courts." This was a decision by the trial judge, not a judge in any higher court. It's okay. You screwed up. I screw up all the time. No harm done.

veeru789

Great news! now i would like to see Apple Vs Samsung case go in favour of Samsung. ;)

Toodeurep

Prior Art was always going to win out in this suit. It is a shame the legal system is such a mess in this country. A jury full of people that have very little understanding of the situation rule in favor of the plantiff but somehow one judge can overturn it (rightfully so).

lawguyman

There have been a few errors in the way this has been reported and discussed here.

This was not an appeal. The trial judge found that Mformation had no claim as a matter of law and that the jury's finding was against the weight of the evidence that was presented.

Mformation can appeal this finding to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by filing a Notice of Appeal within thirty days. I would be surprised if Mformation did not appeal.

I would have to pull the decision to see exactuly what went on but it is a rare thing for a judge to set aside a jury verdict. Typically, if the judge thinks that the evidence does not support a claim, the case would be dismissed on a motion for summary judgment before the court and the parties take the time to try the case. Essentially, the judge is admitting that he screwed up by letting the case get tried.

The 9th circuit Court of Appeals is a pretty independent court. It would have no problem reversing the trial court if that judge made a mistake.

In litigation, momentum means a lot. The momentum has shifted in RIM's favor. Without looking at the decision and knowing exactly what the issues are, it is hard to know what might happen on appeal. But, this decision could be used as a lever to compel an acceptable settlement.

GULCer

WRONG. The appeal would go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Ninth Circuit doesn't have jurisdiciton.

You've obviously never practiced before the Federal Circuit because they reverse denials of JMOL Motions at a rate more than 25x more than the other 12 Courts of Appeals.

lawguyman

Interesting decision.

The parties were fighting about whether RIM infringes the so-called '917 patent. This is a patent owned by Mformation. It patents "a method for remotely managing a wireless device over a wireless network." So, at issue is the way Blackberry devices are remotely managed.

The specific method that was patented is a three step process. The management has to be obtained (1) by a connection between the server and the wireless device (2) the connection had to be established without a request from the wireless device and (3) the connection had to be established before the server sent any command to the wireless device. If is not all of these things, the patent is not infringed.

There are two ways of connecting a Blackberry to a server, over a cellular network or over wifi. Mformation claimed that both means of connection infringed the patent. The court disagreed.

The court found that the connection between a Blackberry and a server over a cellular network does not infring the patent. This is so because Blackberry's BES server sends commands to a Blackberry BEFORE any connection to the device is established. The patent requires that the connection come before the command. So, RIM's method of device management did not infringe Mformation's patented method.

The court also found that Blackberry management over Wifi does not infringe Mformation's patented method. Mformation's method requires the command to the device to be sent without any request from the device. But, the court found that the when a Blackberry is connected over wifi, the Blackberry has to request commands from the server. So, Mformation is out of luck on this claim too.

Also good news for RIM is that is the case is appealed and Mformation wins, the court has found that RIM gets a new trial. But, the appeals court (yes the Federal Circuit - I f'd up on that) could disturb that ruling too.

deercreekmichael

This bit of good news will be printed as "Patent verdict overturned in favor of troubled BlackBerry maker Research In Motion". I think they have permanently prefixed the word 'troubled' in front of 'BlackBerry maker' in future articles.

koolrosh

When the ruling came against RIM, the media repeated it all over the internet with headlines like "The troubled Blackberry maker has to pay 150 million". Watch how they will ignore this new bit of information.

BerryRipe

Everybody is saying the same thing, ya'll act like this is new, bashing RiM has been here for a while now. It's time to let go of the negativity and look onward to the future of BB10!

It was in Engadget and it wasn't a negative article.
People and corporations will see the light once RIM gets it's act together which I strongly believe they are in the transition.

We as BB nation need to quit letting negativity spread and instead focus on the positive side of things.

HabsFan9860

...hmm maybe the positive turning point for RIM?...

BlackBerry Torch 9860 BBOS 7.1
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 2.xx.xxxx

franky62

I just Checked outs CBCs article on it and its pretty objective, but there review of the playbook was awefull, a couple guys reemed them out on the comments because of it.

Balls Deep

thecsman

Glad to see this wasn't really a kick in the balls!