A California jury has directed Research in Motion Ltd, the BlackBerry device maker, to pay $147.2 million in patent litigation over a remote management system for wireless device held by Mformation Technologies Inc.
The court's verdict came at a time when RIM is trying to make a comeback after hitting a rough phase with customers favouring Apple's iPhone and other devices using Google Inc's Android software. The shares of RIM too have fallen by more than 70 percent in the past year.
Attorney for Mformation Amar Thakur said that the jury directed RIM to pay an $8 royalty for every BlackBerry device connected to RIM's enterprise server software, which brings the total award to $147.2 million. The verdict only covers U.S. sales through trial and not future or foreign damages, Thakur told Reuters.
Meanwhile, RIM spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said the verdict of the court could be overturned as the company has pending legal motions.
"Research In Motion has worked hard to develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology," Roberts said in a statement.
RIM announced a $518 million loss in its first quarter, making analysts and investors doubt about its future. It also announced that about 5,000 of its 16,500 employees would be laid off.
Mformation sued RIM in 2008, bringing claims on a patent for a process that remotely manages a wireless device over a wireless network, a court filing says. According to its web site, Mformation helps corporations manage their smartphone inventory. The company also says it helps telecoms operators, such as AT&T and Sprint, with remote fixes and upgrades for users' gadgets.
RIM argued that Mformation's patent claims are invalid because the processes were already being used when Mformation filed its patent application.
(With Inputs from Reuters)