In a tough break for RIM, the Blackberry manufacturer has been found guilty of infringing on software patents held by Mformation Technologies. As a result, RIM is required to pay $147 million in damages. In a San Francisco court, jurors found that RIM’s Blackberry Enterprise Server infringes on Mformation’s patents.
Proceedings began in 2008 when RIM was sued by Mformation for infringing on two of its patents. According to Mformation, it had disclosed details of a technology to RIM during licensing discussions. After deciding not to take a license, RIM modified its software to include the patented systems.
After a three-week long trial, the San Franciscan jury found that RIM should pay a royalty of $8 for each of the 18.4 million units shipped, totaling a whopping $147.2 million in reparations. RIM denied any wrongdoing and said the patents were invalid, but the court didn’t exactly seem to agree with their stance.
Mformation’s lawyer, Amar Thakur, said in an interview after the verdict was delivered that the jury’s damage award is for royalties on past sales on the devices to Americans, minus those in the government. He also said that damages for future sales outside of the U.S. and for government customers could double or triple the amount RIM has to pay.