The case began in 2008, when Mformation Technologies took RIM to court over allegations that RIM had infringed upon a patent it owns for a that was apparently used in RIM’s Blackberry Enterprise Server software.
This past July, RIM was ordered to pay an $8 royalty for every BlackBerry device using RIM’s enterprise server software (BES), hence the $147-million fine.
However, after Judge James Ware reviewed the case he ruled that Mformation failed to establish that RIM had infringed on the company’s patent.
“The court finds that there was no ‘legally sufficient evidentiary basis’ on which a reasonable jury could have found for Mformation on the issue of infringement,” said Judge Ware in his ruling.
Mformation has a right to appeal to get the ruling overturned and the original fine reinstated.
“We appreciate the Judge’s careful consideration of this case. RIM did not infringe on Mformation’s patent and we are pleased with this victory,” Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s chief legal officer, said in a statement. “The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals. Many policy makers have already recognized the need to address this problem and we call on others to join them as this case clearly highlights the significant need for continuing policy reform to help reduce the amount of resources wasted on unwarranted patent litigation.”
Mformation has not commented publicly about the ruling, but it is likely that the company will attempt to appeal it.
RIM was trading at $7.71 Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.