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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]

App World to launch in Italy July 20th

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blackberry app world

Read from Simon that App World is rumored to launch in Italy July 20th. I have heard that it takes RIM legal at least 2 months to enter each new country so it could be as long as 4-5 years before we see all the major European countries fitted with App World.

Make sure you get a notification about when App World is available in your language:

[Simon 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

Top 3 tips for respecting the BlackBerry brand

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If you’ve ever read a RIM or RIM partner press release, you will notice that RIM legal as well as RIM marketing insist that the word “BlackBerry” is always written as “BlackBerry® smartphones” or “BlackBerry® smartphone device.” The reason for this, is that RIM branding wants to separate itself from the rest of the mobile phone market. Although I’m not a big fan of the registered trademark logo, or writing the stock symbol, there are still some branding issues I think are important.

Here are my top 3 tips when using the BlackBerry brand:

1. It’s a mobile computer not a fruit.

Many journalists, make the mistake of writing the plural form of BlackBerry as “BlackBerries.” The plural form of BlackBerry is ‘BlackBerry devices’ or ‘BlackBerry smartphones.’

2. There are 2 capital letters.

Again, the BlackBerry is not a fruit which only takes a capital at the beginning of a sentence. BlackBerry is a brand name with 2 capital letters.

3. A BlackBerry device is not a mobile phone.

A RAZR is a mobile phone. Anything made by Sony Ericsson is a mobile phone. A BlackBerry is not a mobile phone. The BlackBerry stands alone as a powerful device for enterprise and prosumers. If a group of devices are to be mentioned in a sentence, BlackBerry must stand alone. For example, “please submit your pagers, mobile phones, BlackBerry devices and laptops.”

Although this may all seem petty, it’s about time that the Internet knows how to properly refer to the device.