A grand jury in San Francisco ruled that the battered Blackberry manufacturer, Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), will pay 147.2 million dollars in damages for infringing patents from Mformation Technologies.
Amar Thakur, Mformation’s lawyer, said on Saturday that the verdict issued on Friday night followed a three-week trial and five days of deliberations by a jury of eight.
Mformation which is based in Edison, New Jersey, sued RIM in October 2008 under the argument that the Canadian-based company had infringed a patent for a 1999 invention which allows for remote wireless device management.
Mformation’s software enables companies to remotely access cell phones in order to update software, change passwords, or delete data.
This feature is particularly useful for removing sensitive information stolen equipment.
RIM executives, who have dealt with a slump in sales, a drop in stock prices, and other problems, issued statements on the ruling Saturday.
Thakur said the jury found that RIM customers must pay eight dollars for each of the 18.4 million devices that were connected to the Blackberry Enterprise Server from the date of the petition’s filing until the time of trial – a whopping 147.2 million dollars.
The lawyer added that the software in question is the heart of the business of Mformation, a company that has hundreds of employees and is not publicly listed on the stock market.
“We think this has been fundamental to the success of Research in Motion,” Thakur told The Associated Press.
The patent claim was requested in 2001 and was granted four years later, the lawyer added.