Canadian mobile device manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) and its iconic BlackBerry brand have weathered a number of damaging defeats in the last 18 months, allowing competitors like Apple and Google to establish a seemingly insurmountable smartphone market lead. RIM was able to report a bit of good news this week, however, after a California judge overturned a $147 million patent lawsuit leveled against the firm last month.
The patent in question related to software that remotely monitors and manages mobile devices for security purposes. New Jersey-based Mformation was the first company to file for the invention, updating its intellectual property portfolio back in 2001. As a result, a jury decided that RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server system infringed on Mformation's patent and suggested the company should pay the plaintiff nearly $150 million in damages for lost revenues.
Northern California District Chief Judge James Ware has since vacated the jury verdict, according to PCWorld, on the grounds that the BlackBerry software establishes communications with mobile devices in ways not described in the Mformation patent filing.
RIM's persistent defense could help keep the company afloat as it prepares for a new wave of innovations that could restore its competitive profile. While some analysts feared the initial court decision signaled the beginning of the end for BlackBerry, Bloomberg reported that the company's trading value increased nearly 6 percent in the hours after the verdict was overturned.