Mformation Technologies wins $147.2M patent lawsuit against RIM

RIM Lawsuit
By Bla1ze on 13 Jul 2012 11:19 pm EDT

* UPDATE: Official Press Release Statement from Research In Motion *

Research In Motion Receives Verdict in Patent Case Brought by Mformation

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2012) - Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM), a world leader in the mobile communications market, yesterday learned that a jury returned a verdict against RIM in the amount of $147.2 million (USD) in an action brought by Mformation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. RIM is disappointed by the outcome and is evaluating all legal options. Additionally, the trial judge has yet to decide certain legal issues that might impact the verdict. RIM will await those rulings before deciding whether to pursue an appeal.

RIM has worked hard for many years to independently develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology and industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, and RIM does not believe that the Mformation patent in question is valid.

With all the lawsuits happening these days, it has become increasingly clear that just about anyone can be hit with patent claims. Recently RIM and Nokia got into it but a longstanding battle with Mformation Technologies against RIM now has a verdict and well, it didn't turn out so well for RIM.

Mformation Technologies filed suit in 2008 against RIM making the claim RIM had violated remote device management patents held by Mformation Technologies on BlackBerry smartphones and after four days of deliberation, the jury agreed RIM did violate those patents and is being held responsible for a $147.2M payout to Mformation Technologies based on a per unit amount of $8 for 18.4M BlackBerry smartphones.

On the bright side, RIM can still make a motion to appeal and the payout only covers devices available at the time of filing, not future or foreign damages which could have potentially amounted to $680M assuming 78 million devices multiplied by $8 per unit.

Source: Reuters

Reader comments

Mformation Technologies wins $147.2M patent lawsuit against RIM


That's total BS. The jury's opinion was probably swayed by other things... RIM should appeal.

Yes, ever notice how Apple lawsuits always WIN in the USA but LOSE in International Courts?

Do the math and see how many American companies win patent suits in the USA and lose in International markets. Double standard?

Maybe I haven't been watching close enough, but $8 per unit seems like a really big royalty. Aren't they usually just a buck or two?

$142.70 million more than they were a few days ago, appeals notwithstanding.

Seriously, WTF does this have to do with the suit or the facts as presented to the courts.

This is what Joe public sees. Only helps IOS and Androids march forward. Common sense and consumer choice where did it all go.

i hope RIM can learn something from this. that it's better to spend more time searching if any of it's technology has already been claimed patented by others, and patent any technology they have no matter how small it is as fast as possible. heck, even a traditional dance from a tribe originated from one country can be (tried to get) patented by other country lol. it's not who create/discover/invent what matters now, but who's the fastest to get it patented. anything. -__-"

"Good artists copy, great artists steal." <- the world we live in now.

What is sadder is people spouting bullshit without knowing what they are talking about.

MFormation is not some cash-strapped fly-by-night organization. They are one of, it not the biggest, players in the Mobile Device Management sector.

They are privately owned and have offices in the US, UK, China, Japan, Ireland, Malaysia, India and Australia.

They certainly do NOT need to "sue to survive"

I'm confused...RIM lost a case on Mobile Device Management?....Didn't they invent MDM?
Next thing you know, Google will loose a patent case on Search....oh wait they did....:(

It's a sad lawyer rich world we live in


Woow 147 Million gone down the drain.. So much for cutting cost :( RIM needs to whip their lawyers back into shape and get everything correct before the launch of BB10!! Get it right the first time RIM, so things like this doesn't happen.. All that money could of went towards research and development for the BB10's..

$8 per unit! Wow!
How much does it cost to lodge a patent. I'm just going to patent breathing and sue everyone in four years time and claim a dollar payout per individual.

Blackberry and Chief "Nothing is wrong with RIM" Heins are really suffering from their BAD KARMA at the moment ! :(

Reality - a jury from the silicon valley region says, RIM, you lose. Hypothetical - I wonder how it goes if the jury is from Waterloo. I know I am being ridiculous but I'm sick of frivolous law suits.
Anyway, it is not over and RIM doesn't have to pay these possible patent trolls anything. They can appeal.

The fact that you (and I) disagree with the outcome does not make the suit frivolous.

Had it been it would have never reached this point as EVERY jurisdiction in the United States has mechanisms in place to deal with frivolous litigation, including tossing the suit, sanction the party(s) and lawyers that bring them before the courts, etc........

Time to organize an angry mob and march to Mformation Technologies' headquarters.

Seriously, anyone can sue for anything these days.

Maybe they should sue Mformation Technologies back for infringing on EVERYTHING they do.

With so many companies stealing RIM's ideas and patents I am surprised RIM isn't more agressive in pursuing Apple for ripping off BBM. Apple is so afraid of competition they told retailers to ban selling Nexus devices but its ok for them to RIP OFF Android notifications. Anyways all this patent nonsense is preventing future development from moving forward. Its disgusting and pathetic

$142.70 million represents 7.35% of the $2 billion they have in the bank. Even if they lose on appeal this is not much more
than a fiscal flesh wound.

And how is a company with $2 billion in cash and zero debt living paycheck to paycheck?

what a joke of a ruling! This is just like that NTP ruling which is even worse! Must be some cash under the table to the judge, bet that judge's mattress is stuffed with benjamins.

The common perception with the NTP matter is that RIM could have settled for a lot less earlier on, and because of that risk ended up paying way more than they had to. The reality is that years later the patents have been determined to be invalid (it appears in some cases, and likely eventually all cases), and NTP's later claims against Apple, Google, etc. Will likely go nowhere. It does not help RIM now. The problem they had back in 2006 was that the idiot judge was threatening to shut down their service in the US, so they had no choice but to settle, although what they really wanted was further time to have the validity of the patents determined. Hopefully this time the idiot judge will not make any stupid threats about shutting down BES until the legitimacy of the patents have been determined - I suspect that just like the NTP patents, RIM is pushing the issue hard and not settling because they know they are in the right.

Defense lawyers for RIM should be fired for incompetent!

Here is the claim...

"The Scope of Claim 1
Claim 1 provides:
A method for remotely managing a wireless device over a wireless network
comprising a server and the wireless device, the wireless network operable to
communicatively connect the server and the wireless device, the method
comprising the steps of:
transmitting registration information relating to the wireless device from the
wireless device to the server;
verifying the registration information at the server; and
without a request from the wireless device, performing the steps of:
establishing a mailbox for the wireless device at the server,
placing a command for the wireless device in the mailbox at the
delivering the command from the mailbox at the server to the
wireless device by establishing a connection between the wireless
device and the server, transmitting the contents of the mailbox from the server to the wireless device, and accepting the contents of the
mailbox at the wireless device, and
executing the command at the wireless device;
wherein the connection is established based on a threshold condition.
(‘917 Patent, Col. 7:22-44.)"

You can easily find this type of communication handshake (protocol) in any communications engineering textbook...incredible someone can patent that! and the RIM defense lawyer loss the case!

Seems like someone should sue the patent office for issuing such broad and sweeping patents. It's amazing how many generalized statements get patented...

That's "great" and widely cited news! Few more lost lawsuits and we will burn our $2 billion cash. I just hope the result/potential results has/have nothing to do with Karima Bawa (CLO) departure.

not sure if anyone is still checking this, but as the result of some great post-trial lawyering, this initial verdict was cancelled and a new trial was granted. this is a HUGE win for RIM.