RIM blasts US law as it wins a fine appeal

BLACKBERRY maker Research in Motion (RIM) hit out at the US patent system yesterday after the Canadian company won an appeal overturning a $147.2m (£94.2m) fine it was ordered to pay to enterprise software company Mformation Technologies.

The firm’s chief legal officer said: “The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals.” He said the case highlighted “the significant need for continuing policy reform to help reduce the amount of resources wasted on unwarranted patent litigation”.

RIM was ordered to pay the fee - $8 for each for the 18.4m BlackBerrys sold in the US since 2008 last month after a San Francisco jury ruled it had infringed on Mformation patents.

The ruling, outlined in court documents, gives RIM a much needed reprieve as it battles to conserve cash and turn around its fast-fading fortunes. More nimble competitors have outgunned RIM in recent months, luring away many long-time BlackBerry users.

Yesterday, Samsung denied rumours that it was considering buying RIM, speculation that sent RIM’s shares up.