And RIM’s rough ride continues. Within the past few weeks, the Canadian company has had to announce all sorts of bad news, and now RIM has been dealt an expensive defeat in court to add that list.
Bloomberg reported late yesterday that RIM must now shell out nearly $150 million in order to settle a patent suit with a New Jersey-based mobile device management company called Mformation.
The whole sordid story began back in 2008, when Mformation filed its suit against RIM, claiming (what else?) that the Canadian company infringed on two of its patents. Mformation, which counts AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Clearwire among its numerous operator partners, alleges that RIM included patented functionality into their own product after preliminary licensing talks went south.
The jury eventually sided with Mformation, and as such RIM must now pay out royalties of $8 for each of the 18.4 million devices in question — a total bill of $147.2 million. Ouch.
Naturally, RIM isn’t planning to give up the money without a fight — the company’s legal team has already moved to have the verdict reversed, and we’ll soon see how that works for them.
Now, RIM is no stranger to these sorts of legal setbacks — the company lost the right to use the “BBX” name for their new mobile operating system late last year, and was (unsuccessfully) sued by over the BBM trademark by a Canadian broadcast measurement organization. That said, situations like this are the last thing that RIM wants to worry about right now, especially as they work towards saving a total of $1 billion before the end of the fiscal year rolls around (for reference, RIM is currently in the second quarter of fiscal 2013).
The company has certainly gone all out on that front, as it has already begun to trim its workforce by 5,000 heads. What’s more, it was reported earlier this week that RIM has been looking to unload one of their two 9-passenger Dassault corporate jets to help reach that goal. Apparently, the company was looking to score between $6-7 million for the jet, but they may want to try bumping up that asking price in light of recent events.
All things considered, the situation could have been even worse for the beleaguered smartphone company. While hefty, the damages they must pay only account for applicable devices within the United States — as CEO Thorsten Heins is fond of reminding us all, the company enjoys considerable popularity outside of North America.