Research In Motion’s $147 Million Patent Penalty Reversed

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), the Canadian maker of BlackBerry devices, won a judge’s order overturning a $147.2 million patent-infringement award to MFormation Technologies Inc. RIM rose as much as 5.4 percent.

Jurors in federal court in San Francisco concluded in July that RIM software violated Edison, New Jersey-based MFormation’s patent-protected inventions.

“There was no legally sufficient evidentiary basis” for the jury’s findings, U.S. District Judge James Ware said yesterday in a written opinion.

MFormation, which makes mobile-device management software, sued RIM in 2008, saying it misappropriated technology learned during failed licensing discussions. RIM denied any wrongdoing.

“We appreciate the judge’s careful consideration of this case,” Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s chief legal officer, said today in a statement.

“MFormation is deeply disappointed that the court would overturn a jury verdict after a month of trial including a week of thoughtful deliberation by the jury,” Todd DeLaughter, the company’s chief executive officer, said in an e-mailed statement. He said the company is assessing its options.

RIM climbed 4.2 percent yesterday amid speculation by a Jefferies & Co. analyst that Samsung Electronics Co. may license the struggling BlackBerry maker’s new BlackBerry 10 software or consider buying the company.

Market Shares

RIM’s share of the worldwide smartphone market fell to 4.8 percent in the second quarter from 12 percent a year earlier as Google Inc.’s Android operating system climbed to 68 percent and Apple Inc.’s iPhone slipped to 17 percent.

RIM is planning to release two new BB10 phones early next year and try to regain some of its lost market share.

RIM rose 16 cents to $7.78 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 3:12 p.m. New York time.

The case is MFormation Technologies v. Research In Motion Ltd., 08-04990, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net; Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net; Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net.

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