Research In Motion and NTP Settle Lawsuit

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The long-running lawsuit between Research In Motion (RIM) and NTP has finally come to an end.

As part of the resolution, NTP will grant RIM and its customers an unfettered right to continue its BlackBerry-related wireless business without further interference from NTP or its patents.

RIM will pay $450 million for all claims to date against RIM, as well as for a perpetual, fully-paid up license going forward. The amount includes $137 million courts have ordered RIM to put aside from its revenues over the last several years.

RIM NTP and RIM will be finalizing the exact terms of a definitive licensing and settlement agreement in upcoming weeks.

Since this announcement was made, shares of RIM have gone up almost 20 percent.

History of this Lawsuit

NTP first filed suit in this case in November 2001, charging that the BlackBerry line used technology that had first been developed by Tom Campana. A year later, a U.S. jury found in NTP’s favor and ordered RIM to pay damages.

RIM didn’t have to actually pay any of these until the appeal process is over, but it had to set aside 8.5 percent of its revenues to pay them when the appeals process was complete.

It was in August 2003 that the judge in this case issued an injunction blocking RIM from selling BlackBerries in the U.S., but put a hold on this injunction, pending appeal.

This appeal happened last June in Washington, the results of which were announced in December. The three-judge panel overturned the injunction blocking BlackBerry sales, but upheld much of the findings of the lower court, agreeing that the BlackBerry line did, in fact, infringe on a number of patents held by NTP that relate to wireless email processing.

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