The legal dispute between Research in Motion and NTP that we reported earlier is quickly coming to a close. During the long drawn out court ordeal, NTP accused RIM of infringing on patents in the development and sale of BlackBerry devices. The popular handheld PDAs are often used by many corporate customers to communicate with coworkers at the office, and customers.According to reports, RIM has now agreed to pay NTP Inc. a total of $612.5M USD, after which the case will be entirely dismissed. Previously, RIM had notified its customers that regardless of the outcome, BlackBerry services would still stay operational. RIM had decided that it would modify some code in the infrastructure but many were still skeptical about the effectiveness of the code change.
"It's not a good feeling to write this kind of check," said Jim
Balsillie, RIM's chairman and co-chief executive, in a conference call to the New York Times.
"It's a lot of money for patents that will not survive for sure. … We
are caught in an ambiguous time in the patent laws and the courts. No
one feels good about this, but we are happy to put it behind us."
For those not familiar, NTP Inc. is only composed of a handful of employees with the primary intention taking RIM to court over patents that were idling for a number of years. In March, the two companies almost agreed to a $450M USD settlement, but the deal fell through at the last minute. Of course, NTP was willing to settle for $53M in 2002, but that RIM refused to pay.