Research In Motion (RIM) has been spared a punishing $147.2 million damages payment after the verdict in a lengthy patent battle with Mformation was overturned last night. According to a company statement, the judge in the case — which is being heard in the US District Court for the Northern District of California — "has granted RIM's motion for judgment as a matter of law, concluding that the evidence did not support the Jury's finding of patent infringement."
Mformation first filed suit against RIM back in 2008, accusing the manufacturer of infringing on patents related to mobile device management in its BlackBerry Enterprise Server product. Last month, RIM was ordered to pay $8 for every device that connects to an Enterprise Server, a penalty that it could ill afford in its current straitened circumstances, and the new ruling will come as welcome news to the company's financial chiefs.
If Mformation decides to appeal the decision, it will need to go through a whole new trial, and will not have the option of reinstating the previous verdict. Given the length of the previous trial, it looks like RIM is off the hook for a number of years.