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RIM and Visto finally settle worldwide patent infringement lawsuits

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The battle between RIM and Visto has been going on for some time now. Last we heard, Visto had paid RIM for certain patent infringements but there were 21 patent claims outstanding for the US Patent Office to rule on. The patents concern email synchronization between devices and local servers.

It seems that yesterday, the two companies have come to a definitive agreement to settle all outstanding worldwide patent litigation between the companies.

The agreement includes a perpetual and fully-paid license on all Visto patents for RIM, a transfer of certain Visto intellectual property, a one-time payment by RIM of US $ 267.5 million to Visto and the parties executing full and final releases in respect of all outstanding worldwide litigation.

The settlement is expected to be completed during the week of July 20, 2009 and is subject to certain closing conditions.

Accounting for these dollars in the 2nd quarter of 2010, will involve including the payments as an unusual item to be expensed, with the remained classified as an intangible asset. This is a considerable sum of money and it will be interesting to see what effect the resolution will have on RIM’s shares.

More details on the Motorola and RIM litigious battles

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Motorola and RIM have been in legal disputes for a long time. Back in February of 2008, RIM claimed that Motorola refused to license some of its patents “on a fair and reasonable basis”, mainly in rebuttal to an initial litigation by Motorola. RIM also accused Motorola of using 9 of RIM’s patents without permission, a complaint in response to Motorola claiming RIM is using 7 of theirs.

A magistrate judge recently ruled that Motorola patent-infringement claims against RIM will be put on hold while the U. S. government reviews the patents.

At RIM’s request, the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office is taking a second look at 10 Motorola patents. Judge William Sanderson said in Dallas on June 15 that the civil suit was “still in its infancy” and it would help to have an additional review by the patent office before it goes further with those claims.

[Via]

Inside RIM legal where Karima Bawa dominates

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Karima Bawa is the vice-president, legal, and general counsel of RIM. Having joined RIM in 2000, she currently oversees a team of almost 50 lawyers and numerous other support staff. In addition to being involved in almost all litigation matters, she also ensures that RIM software and products have appropriate intellectual property protections and are effectively commercialized through marketplace agreements.

“RIM added over 125 new distribution partners during the past year, which is approximately one new partner every other business day,” she said. “Each of those relationships must be supported with commercial terms and conditions that satisfy RIM’s corporate goals, and my team plays an integral role in achieving win-win agreements with those partners.”

Ms. Bawa’s job is only getting more complex as RIM settles in new markets, acquires new companies and adds new partners. To accommodate, Karima has had to evolve the company’s legal structure.

“One of RIM’s key underlying objectives for many years, and last year was no different, has been to continue to prepare the organization for larger and larger scale,” she said, “so that RIM is able to capitalize on growing market opportunities.

“Such growth is naturally accompanied by compounded complexities that require significant diligence and require my team to be thoughtful business managers as well as legal advisers.”
Continue reading about RIM legal and its operations

India DoT comes under fire from Canadian government

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David MaloneCanadian High Commissioner David M. Malone sent a letter to A. Raja, India’s Communication and IT Minister, questioning the way India is handling the controversy over BlackBerry security concerns. Malone said that the Department of Telcom had “inspired little confidence that those involved on the Indian side are actually empowered to settle the matter…” and requested a conference with “the relevant authorities.” He also criticized the constant media leaks (whoops) and India’s apparent willingness to negotiate through the media. All in all, it is a very polite but very scathing letter, and we can only hope that it will help to finally put the whole matter to rest. It was dated April 17th, but if Raja sent a response, it hasn’t turned up yet.

Autonomous data collation

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Autonomy logoA new business concept pertaining to legal is issues is starting to pop up. It’s called information governance, and it’s a way to collect and organize data relevant to any legal proceedings your company is involved in. Of course, this is nothing new at all, and businesses have been doing it for years. The problem is that most data is “human-friendly, computer-hostile.” Emails and voice mails, data which computers don’t really understand, pile up and up and trying to sift through them to find relevant data — which is very important and even legally required in the case of litigation — can be incredibly difficult. Autonomy Information Governance essentially allows computers to read that data from employees’ files and collate it. The software can be expanded to include BlackBerrys in its search, which is likely to become increasingly important as they and other smartphones do more and more.

Survey says BlackBerry stability number one concern for legal IT

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JudgeAnother bit from the LegalTech show is a survey from BoxTone indicating that a “significant majority (65 percent) said the [BlackBerry] platform has transitioned from an individual productivity tool to a mission-critical service”, resulting in the implementation of IT administration and monitoring tools like BoxTone. Maybe it’s just because I’m in Ottawa, but the number one demorgraphic for BlackBerry always felt like government employees, but clearly the legal field has its own entrenched usership as well.