Research In Motion, manufacturer of BlackBerry smartphones and tablets, has suffered a considerable setback in its attempts to turn its fortunes and restore competition with Google and Apple at the top of the mobile device marketplace. A U.S. Federal District Court ruled last week that RIM had infringed upon the patent portfolio of Mformation Technologies when designing the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
According to Bloomberg, the case began in 2008 after Mformation charged RIM with misappropriating sensitive information gained during patent licensing discussions that were ultimately abandoned. The defendant will now be asked to pay $147.2 million in damages on account of the revenue it has generated from the infringing technologies over the past four years.
"We ensured that our early innovation in [mobile] device management were put through rigorous legal assessments by applying for patents on these innovations in the United States and abroad," patent inventor and Mformation founder Rakesh Kushwaha explained in a prepared statement. "With a total of 27 patents granted or pending, our IP portfolio will allow us to continue to shape the future of the mobile device management market."
RIM still plans to appeal the verdict, according to Computerworld, but industry experts are finding optimism hard to come by for the mobile manufacturer. Following increased competition and product delays, the company recently reported a net loss of $518 million against a profit of $695 million just a year ago.