Remember when BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) was ordered to cough up $147.2 million after a company called Mformation succesfully won a patent lawsuit against the smartphone and tablet maker in a U.S. court? You know, the kind of ruling Florian Mueller said could make smartphones unaffordable?
Well, that’s no longer the case: RIM this morning announced that the ruling has been overturned. The company no longer needs to pay Mformation anything, although the latter company can still appeal.
If, however, that appeal is successful, it would mean an entirely new trial has to occur.
RIM was originally ordered to pay a whopping $8 royalty for every BlackBerry device connected to its enterprise server software in a wireless patent lawsuit brought on by Mformation back in 2008.
RIM this morning said it learned that a judge has granted its motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL), concluding that the evidence did not support the jury’s finding of patent infringement. After considering motions presented by both RIM and Mformation, as well as the jury verdict, the judge determined that RIM had not, in fact, infringed on Mformation’s patent.
He or she thus vacated the $147.2 million jury award, and the jury verdict can not be reinstated even if Mformation successfully appeals.
Needless to say, RIM’s Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein is giddy about the news:
“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.
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.”