The West

Judge throws out  $US147m award against RIM
Judge throws out $US147m award against RIM

Troubled Blackberry maker Research In Motion will not have to pay a $US147.2 million ($A139.77 million) damages award after an American judge tossed out a jury verdict in a patent case brought by Mformation Technologies.

US District Chief Judge James Ware issued an order stating "there was no legally sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable jury could have found for Mformation on the issue of infringement".

Ware also endorsed a motion by RIM that would call for a retrial of the case before a new jury in the event a higher court overturn's his ruling.

"We appreciate the judge's careful consideration of this case," RIM chief legal officer Steve Zipperstein said after the Canada-based company on Thursday learnt of Judge Ware's ruling.

"RIM did not infringe on Mformation's patent and we are pleased with this victory."

New Jersey-based software firm Mformation sued RIM in 2008 in US District Court in San Francisco, claiming it had disclosed details of its technology to RIM during licensing discussions.

After choosing to not buy a licence, RIM modified its software to include Mformation's patented systems allowing companies to manage workers' mobile devices from an enterprise server, Mformation said in its complaint.

RIM denied any wrongdoing and said the patents were invalid.

A jury in California came to a unanimous verdict in July backing Mformation's claim that RIM used the firm's technology for remotely controlling and managing wireless devices.

Judge Ware said in his ruling that "the jury's verdict as to infringement is against the clear weight of the evidence".

RIM saw the legal reverse as evidence that the current patent system leads to expensive and unwarranted litigation and urged that it be reformed.

"The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals," Mr Zipperstein said.

The West Australian

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