J.P. Morgan Cuts Research In Motion Rating

Analyst Paul Coster says a negative patent ruling may hurt RIM's licensing strategy with other wireless device makers

J.P. Morgan downgraded Research In Motion (RIMM ) to underweight from neutral.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Dell Computer was also involved in litigation with Research In Motion.

On Friday, a judge awarded attorney fees (80%), and a 50% increase to the $23.1 million in compensatory damages that was awarded in November to privately held NTP. The case involves a group of inventors who said Research In Motion's BlackBerry infringed on eight wireless patents controlled by NTP.

Analyst Paul Coster says he thinks Research In Motion will appeal the ruling, but in the meantime it is taking additional charges to pay for the litigation. He says he expected a more favorable outcome, but thinks Research In Motion may have a good case for appealing.

Coster says he's concerned that the NTP judgment undermines Research In Motion's ability to license its technology to Nokia and others. Research In Motion has several lawsuits against Good Technology that claim the company infringed on Research In Motion's patents for always-on e-mail access, but Good Technology is seeking a court order to overturn these patents.

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