RIM shares rise on hopes for big BlackBerry sales

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Shares of Research In Motion rose to their highest levels in more than a year on Wednesday as anticipation grew that demand for the company’s BlackBerry service has soared since it settled a patent dispute. Research in Motion shares hit $87.59, their highest since December 2004, before edging back to $86.8, up 4.6 percent or $3.8 on Nasdaq. In Toronto, they climbed 5 percent to C$101.08, their loftiest since June last year, before trimming gains to C$100.30.

“The news is starting to circulate that the pick-up in demand since the settlement has been very large,” said Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek.


Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM has not yet released its sales figures.

“From the retail channels and the enterprise channels, it’s all starting to filter out,” Misek said, adding he was working to substantiate the numbers. “You can’t keep any of that really quiet for very long.”

Earlier this month RIM agreed to pay $612.5 million to U.S. patent-holding company NTP Inc. to resolve a four-year patent dispute, a deal that allowed RIM to continue its service to some 3.2 million U.S. subscribers.

In the wake of its lengthy and complex battle, the company expressed concern on Tuesday about “a patent system in obvious need of reform.”

“The good news is that this topic is currently receiving much more attention from policymakers and the Supreme Court and we hope the patent system will evolve to close the loopholes and become more balanced,” RIM co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis said in an open letter on the BlackBerry Web site.