RIM pledges to appeal $147.2m damages order

BLACKBERRY maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said it will fight an order to pay $147.2m (£94.6m) in damages for using patented technology in its smartphones.

RIM was last week ordered to pay software firm Mformation Technologies the fee – $8 for each of the 18.4m BlackBerrys sold in the US since claims were filed in 2008 – after a San Francisco jury upheld the claims.

The technology allows companies to access their employees’ phones remotely for upgrades or password changes.

RIM said it was “disappointed by the outcome” and “does not believe the patent in question is valid”.

The company said it would decide whether to appeal after the judge has decided “certain legal issues that might impact the verdict”.

The payment order is the latest blow to RIM’s fortunes after it was forced to cut 5,000 jobs – a third of its workforce – after reporting a $192m loss for the three months to June. It has also delayed its next generation of handsets until next year.

“We believe [the patents have] been fundamental to the success of RIM,” said Mformation’s lawyer Amar Thakur.

Shares in RIM, which has seen its market share hit by Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android software, fell to their lowest level since 2003 last week.