Bad news continues to torment Research In Motion, the manufacturer of Blackberry as it lost yet another lawsuit regarding patenting software. The company has been found guilty of infringing upon a patent registered in 1999 by Mformation Technologies and is liable to pay damages amounting to $147.2 million. The patent pertains to managing wireless devices from a remote location and RIM is said to be using this for Blackberry’s without any manner of licensing.
The lawsuit was heard in a San Francisco federal court and the jury awarded RIM a $147.2 million liability. The verdict was delivered by a jury comprising of 8 members after a trial that lasted three weeks, which preceded a week of jury deliberations. Mformation Technologies based in Edison, New Jersey, sued RIM back in October 2008 over claims that the latter used a software patent that enabled the manufacturer to access devices remotely for upgrading the software and the like and even enabled protective measures such as erasing all data in case the device was lost or stolen. There was nobody from RIM willing to comment on the situation so it is unclear whether there is a possibility of an appeal as of now.
Counsel for the plaintiff said in a statement that the jury decided that RIM should pay Mformation $8 for each Blackberry device that is connected to the Blackberry Enterprise Server. A whopping 18.4 million devices were sold and that led to a total figure of $147.2mln. Mformation believes that the software is their main product and that it churned out and this lawsuit was a pretty big step for it because it is a privately held company with only a few hundred employees. The patent for the software was filed in 2001 and was granted to the company in 2005 and it appears as though the software linking the servers to the devices was very instrumental in Blackberry’s success.
This liability adds to the company’s existing coffer of problems. From 2007, when it had a 41% market share, Blackberry devices make up a meager 4% in the first quarter of this year. Moreover, it looks like the company is in for trouble in the future as there have been unexpected delays in the release of the next generation Blackberry 10 devices, which could possibly put them in the same league as the iOS and Android devices.